MANOR PARK SURGERY: Failing Newham medical centre shuttered by CQC

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALEX SHAW and Newham Recorder

A poorly performing doctor’s surgery in the London Borough of Newham’s Manor Park area, east London, was ordered to close down after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ruled it as inadequate, reported local newspaper Newham Recorder.

The Manor Park Medical Centre, in Romford Road, was responsible for 1,300 local patients. It’s closure came after it failed three inspection reports in a row, the last one carried out in July 2017, the Newham Recorder stated. The CQC, which ensures standards of medical facilities in the UK, was scathing in its appraisal of the Manor Park Medical Centre, rating it as ‘inadequate’ in five key areas. A notice was pinned to the surgery’s house-like varnished wooden door announcing its closure, and offering a map and address of an alternative medical facility in nearby Church Road. The notice was issued by the Newham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

 

The Medical Centre, headed by Dr Surendra Kumar Dhariwal, appealed against the closure decision, but the CQC and a court at a first-tier tribunal had the upper hand. The centre’s registration was terminated this past Monday, which meant the practice no longer is open to patients.

“I was very concerned about patient care at Dr Surendra Kumar Dhariwal’s practice and the lack of response or improvement we have witnessed since previous inspections,” said Prof Ursula Gallagher, CQC deputy chief inspector of GP practices.

The regulator was “left with no option” but to close the practice “in the interests of patients,” she added.

The Medical Centre had been running into trouble since November 2016, and later inspections revealed no improvement in the situation. CQC inspectors were shocked by the poor levels of staff appraisal and training, unclear staffing arrangements and there were noticeable gaps in background checking of new staff.

The inspectors also raised concerns about the physical state of the centre and its medicine stocks. The Newham Recorder stated that the premises were covered in dust and some pharmaceutical items were also dusty or expired.

A significant amount of medicines and equipment were not fit for use and there were no effective systems in place to address this,” read the report.

It stated there was “no evidence” of the duty of candour, the legal duty of health centres to inform and apologise to patients if mistakes in their care have led to harm.

Dr Dhaliwal was not available for comment at the time of the Recorder’s report, but previously he claimed that improvements were made to the Manor Park Medical Centre after the earlier inspections and it was a “really good practice”. He had been a member of medical staff at the centre for fifty years. The CQC said that the failings at the centre posed a great risk of harm to its patients. It is not known if or when the centre may reopen.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Three strikes and out for Manor Park GP surgery” – Alex Shaw, Newham Recorder/Archant (6 October 2017) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/health/three-strikes-and-out-for-manor-park-gp-surgery-1-5225987

IMAGE CREDIT:

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GENE THERAPY: Researcher discovers safer way to keep cancer out of studied genes

Pullman, UNITED STATES
VIJAY SHAH via Medlab

Grant Trobridge, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Washington State University engaged in research, has discovered a method of reducing harmful cancer cells which occasionally surface while conducting gene therapy, genetics events site Medlab reported this week.

Trobridge and his team have found a way to change how a virus carries a beneficial gene to its target cell. Under natural conditions, viruses attached themselves to the surface of a cell, and use the cell to replicate themselves, often rupturing and killing the cell in the process. Trobridge’s modified ‘viral vectors’ as these altered viruses are known, also have the side effect of reducing the number of cancerous cells, and the research team at Washington State believe that the vectors may be useful for treating blood diseases. The team plan to adapt the viral vector technology to help fight SCID-X1, a potentially life-threatening disease that occurs in babies, and is also known as “Boy in the Bubble Syndrome.”

 

 

Gene therapy, a relatively recent branch of science, has useful applications for biomedicines, and may eventually be capable of tackling genetic diseases by replacing defective genes with repaired ones prepared in a laboratory.

Trobridge and colleagues adapted their vectors from a type of virus, foamy retrovirus, named for its habit of creating foam under certain conditions. Retroviruses are popular choices for viral gene therapy as they rarely infect humans and do not activate genes for dangerous diseases such as cancer. Gene scientists also find retroviruses easier to work with as they like to insert their own genes into the host cell’s genome when they breach a cell’s membrane, making it easier for the researcher to study the virus’ effects on the genetic structure.

The Washington State University team altered the vector to make it safer by changing how it behaves with a targetted stem cell, a type of junior cell that can develop into anything from reproductive cells to muscle cells. The altered virus can then insert itself into safer parts of the genome, avoiding areas where genes for life-threatening conditions reside. The vector successfully avoided areas of the human genome which has an abundance of cancer-causing genes. The researchers hope that this new discovery will be ready for clinical trials within five years.

“Our goal is to develop a safe and effective therapy for SCID-X patients and their families,” said Trobridge. “We’ve started to translate this in collaboration with other scientists and medical doctors into the clinic.”

Trobridge and team have published their results in Scientific Reports, an online open-access journal produced by the Nature Publishing Group.

SOURCES:
Informa Accounts, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/informa-accounts
Saudi Health, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Health_Saudi
“Researcher Develops Safer Gene Therapy” – MEDLAB/Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions (14 November 2016) http://www.medlabme.com/press-releases/industry-updates/researcher-develops-safer-gene-therapy/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Symian virus.png” – Phoebus87, Wikimedia Commons (19 July 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Symian_virus.png [This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic licence.]