Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Sheffield Walk-In Centre placed in “special measures”

A Care Quality Commission inspection has found the Sheffield City GP Health Centre, run by a private company, to be “inadequate”.

A brick and blue building against a cloudy sky.

NHS Walk-In Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield

Terry Robinson

Following an unannounced inspection of Sheffield City GP Health Centre on Broad Lane, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated it inadequate. The centre is going to be subject to another inspection within six months. If improvements are seen to be insufficient at that point, Dr Sean O’Kelly from the CQC says the organisation will “begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service”.

The walk-in centre is run by a private company, One Medicare Ltd.

Perhaps most alarming was that the Walk-In Centre was considered to be “inadequate for providing safe services”, with the report referencing staff shortages that increased risk to patients, staff not being able to access patients’ full care records, which meant they were working without “all the relevant information they needed to deliver safe care and treatment”, problems with their management of medication, and equipment that is used on patients not always being tested or maintained properly.

Overall rating: Are services safe? Inadequate. Are services effective? Inadequate? Are services caring? Requires improvement. Are services responsive? Requires improvement. Are services well led? Inadequate.

Sheffield Walk-In Centre CQC report

The service’s effectiveness was also rated “inadequate”. The CQC found that clinic has no system to provide clinical supervision, lead staff lacked training, and time targets were not being met.

In addition, “There was an insufficient skill mix of staff to deal with the full spectrum of possible patient presenting conditions. For example, children under the age of 2 years.”

The leadership of the Walk-In Centre was also found by the report to be “inadequate”.

Other issues arising from the inspection report include:

  • Some people who used the service had concerns about the way staff treated people. Patient feedback was mixed, with some patients being happy with the way they were treated by staff and others stating staff did not treat them with kindness or respect.
  • Negative feedback from patients regarding the seating area in reception and having to sit on the floor as there were not enough chairs
  • Patients did not have timely access to diagnosis and treatment and the organisation was not meeting its 4-hour target for patients to be discharged by the service
  • The service did not have an effective system in place for dealing with surges in demand
  • Not all staff reported they could go to management for support without fear of retribution whilst other staff told us they felt supported
  • Several locum staff reported not being used again by the service if they raised any concerns

Labour Councillor Ruth Milsom, who chairs Sheffield's Health Scrutiny committee, told Now Then:

It's upsetting to hear that the Broad Lane Walk-In Centre has been rated as 'Inadequate' by the CQC.

I will visit the Centre to meet with lead personnel, and anticipate our conversation to be around issues that are frequently seen as failing in CQC inspections across the country - staff shortages, inadequate IT systems, and management pressures. These are symptoms of much deeper problems of management right at the top. It is government ministers who are ultimately responsible for the health of the NHS.

I will be seeking assurances from the local NHS Integrated Care Board as to the future security of these services that clinical staff work so hard to deliver and are relied on by so many of us.

One Medicare told Now Then:

Following the CQC inspection in April 2023, we responded promptly to rectify areas for improvement identified at Sheffield City GP Health Centre, which delivers a vital service to the city. We are also in ongoing discussions with the CQC regarding some factual inaccuracies within the report and await a response to those queries.

Patient safety and experience remains our utmost priority and we are working hard to ensure the centre continues to deliver a quality service to patients and their families, including the introduction of weekly quality improvement meetings, supported by the CQC and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, to implement further changes quickly and efficiently.

Our dedicated team are committed to continuously improving the service we deliver 8am to 10pm, three hundred and sixty five days a year. We look forward to the CQC returning for a re-inspection to see the improvements made.

Learn more

There is disabled access to the Walk-In Centre and a lift although most patients are seen in the ground floor clinical rooms. There is no onsite car park although there is nearby parking in the city centre.

Filed under: 

More News & Views

More News & Views