Patient became septic after GP practice failed to act on blood test result

People have complained about long waits to have a blood test. Picture: PA Archive

Wensum Valley Medical Practice has been placed into special measures - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Failure of a GP surgery to act on a blood test result saw a patient become septic and require urgent hospital care, an inspection has shown.

Wensum Valley Medical Practice in Norwich, which is split across sites in Adelaide Street and Bates Green in the west of the city, has been placed into special measures following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission.

The inspector highlighted a range of concerns, including the urgency with which the practice dealt with abnormal blood test results.

Bosses at the surgery say improvements are already being made, but a number of occasions where blood tests were not acted on quick enough were highlighted.

On one such occasion, in October 2021, results were not acted on and the patient was "found to have developed significant health issues, including sepsis".

They added that in February another abnormal result was not viewed for four days while in March, 16 were not filed.

Concerns were also raised that the surgery was falling short in meeting cervical cancer screening targets. 

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In England, GP surgeries are expected to have provided cervical screenings to a minimum of 80pc of women eligible for them. The rate at the practice is 63.7pc. 

While the surgery was rated good in two areas - whether its services are caring and whether they are responsive to people's needs - it was rated as inadequate overall and placed into special measures.

The inspector wrote: "There was a caring theme that came through across different staffing areas; where staff understood the complexities of their practice population and genuinely cared about their patients' needs."

It is not the first time the practice has been placed in special measures. In 2017, the Adelaide Street site suffered the same fate - but was able to complete a turnaround in six months.

A spokesperson for Wensum Valley Medical Practice said: “We were disappointed with the outcome of the inspection but have taken immediate action since to address the issues raised.

"We are being supported with the development of a robust action plan to improve our service by colleagues from NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and the local Primary Care Network.”