Suspension Case Study

Southfields - Granville Road Surgery

We have already covered how a south London practice got suspended earlier this year. Although "suspension" implies something temporary, the consequences could be catastrophic and end up in closing you down altogether.

Looking beyond the fate of that practice, we should all be worried, even if we are not "that" practice. So what are the potential consequences of a suspension?.

Patients

Your patients get transferred, probably to a nearby NHSE site, until you are ready to open your doors again. It is quite likely that many will not return once they have lost confidence in your ability to look after them.

Bad publicity

In this case the local Guardian focused purely on all the issues that would strike a chord with patients and something they can visualise easily, such as dirty rooms. The image of a filthy practice where you will catch something, is difficult to shake off. Put yourself in the patient's shoes, and visualise a restaurant that Health & Safety has suspended for FOUR MONTHS. How bad would it have been? Can you ever trust them again? Would you take little kids there, ever?

When you Google Dr Mujib ul Haq Khan, all the bad news comes up before details of his surgery, this is what prospective patients will see first. The reputational damage could be irreparable.

My Federation

Your Federation will have to think twice before giving you a slice of contracts. In fact, this could be suicidal for them in the short run at least. So your immediate avenues to new revenues is cut off immediately.

What will the CCG do?

Any CCG would rightly be cautious about any practice that has been suspended, and logically, even the Federation that your practice belongs to should be subject to more scrutiny. What sort of membership do they have? Do they check the quality performance of their members before bidding for contracts?

Lessons:

Look past the obvious failures highlighted by the CQC, the real risk of your practice being caught out could be a lot higher than you imagine, and could even be existential.

If you are currently part of a Federation, it is in your interests to make sure that a poor performing member does not risk and sink your Federation.

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