Fire extinguishers at surgery a health risk according to report

The Lime Tree Surgery, Findon Valley. Picture: Derek Martin
The Lime Tree Surgery, Findon Valley. Picture: Derek Martin

A doctor has defended his surgery after out-of-date fire extinguishers contributed to an underwhelming report from the Care Quality Commission.

The Lime Tree Surgery in Lime Tree Avenue, Worthing, was rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the independent healthcare regulator in a report published on April 18.

My feeling is if we are caring and the patients are happy, that is the most important thing

David Mannings

It highlighted safety and management as areas of concern, despite the surgery receiving ‘good’ ratings for the quality, effectiveness and responsiveness of its care.

Two out of 20 fire extinguishers on the site were a month out of date, which doctor David Mannings attributed to a clerical error.

The report also mentioned that the surgery didn’t have a warning sign for a treatment room where oxygen was stored.

The Lime Tree Surgery provides primary medical services to more than 13,000 patients and treatment for residents of four nearby nursing homes.

Dr Mannings from Worthing has been working at the practice for more than 30 years.

He said he was disappointed with the results of the report but was confident that staff could turn around the fortunes of the surgery.

“It was something we thought we had under control. A member of staff accidentally filed a letter which said that fire extinguishers would need replacing, which is why it happened.

“We take it very seriously and will be corrected as soon as we get them replaced.

“We now have two people going through letters to avoid this happening again.”

The report also found leadership to be sub-standard, despite highlighting a ‘clear vision and strategy to deliver high-quality care’.

Dr Mannings said this was due to four overdue staff appraisals which will be completed by the end of May.

“The CQC inspector will come back in six months and all the outstanding issues will be addressed by then.

“I don’t believe it’s a reflection of the care we offer. My feeling is if we are caring and the patients are happy, that is the most important thing and patient feedback is extremely positive. I’m not denigrating health and safety but it’s a question of perspective.”