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CQC takes action against Sittingbourne GP after serious failings are identified at his surgery

11 June 2014

11 June 2014

The Care Quality Commission is taking action against Dr Bijan Saha after identifying serious failings at his practice in Todd Crescent, Church Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent.

At an unannounced inspection in March, carried out in response to concerns raised about the safety and quality of care provided, inspectors found that Dr Saha was failing to meet all 11 standards checked.

People’s privacy and dignity wasn’t always respected. Patients told inspectors that reception staff were sometimes called into their consultations to talk to the doctor about other patients in a way which did not maintain confidentiality.

One patient reported that Dr Saha had taken a mobile phone call from another patient during their consultation, and staff at the practice confirmed that this kind of episode was a source of patient complaints. Two patients spoken to told inspectors that they didn’t feel listened to during their consultations.

Patients told inspectors that booking appointments was difficult and that they often had to use other nearby services such as walk in centres. When a consultation had taken place, it was not always clear from records whether this had been face to face or over the telephone, and therefore it wasn’t possible to ensure that people had been properly assessed before receiving treatment. This placed people at risk of unsafe treatment or care.

Medicines were not handled appropriately or stored correctly. Inspectors saw that medication prescribed for a named individual was being used for general administration to others – and that no records were in place to show who this medication had been given to.

Repeat prescriptions were issued without reviews having taken place, and were often printed by administrative staff on the verbal instructions of Dr Saha. This procedure had led to a prescribing error which could have had very serious consequences for the patient concerned. There were no formal processes to ensure the security of prescription pads or stock taking of medicines held on the premises.

Amongst other findings:

  • Staff who chaperoned people during intimate procedures did not have criminal records checks in place.
  • Staff were not trained in child or adult safeguarding procedures, and there were no policies in place to guide them if a suspicion of abuse arose.
  • Some areas of the practice were dirty and cluttered. Inspectors saw that all the waiting room chairs were badly stained with an unknown substance, the waiting area was generally cluttered, and the main treatment room and provider's consultation room were generally untidy. The level of clutter in some areas made it difficult for the practice to be cleaned to the standard required.
  • Recruitment procedures were ineffective, as staff had insufficient knowledge, experience, qualifications and skills to perform their roles.
  • Staff were not properly trained, supervised and appraised.
  • Medical records were not accurate or fit for purpose or held securely.

Michele Golden, Head of GP Inspection in the South, said:

“The issues that we have identified at Dr Saha’s practice are very serious, and we’d urge anyone who uses it to read our full report. The failings detailed in the report show why we’ve decided to take action against him – although we cannot discuss the nature of that action any further at this stage for legal reasons.

“We’ve shared our concerns with the rest of the local health economy, including NHS England, the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Local Medical Committee (LMC), and have asked that they also consider what action they may need to take to ensure that people using services at this practice are protected from harm. People using this practice are currently at unacceptable levels of risk – and keeping them safe is a job for all of us.

“Patients are entitled to be treated in services which are safe, effective, caring, well run, and responsive to their needs. We’ll continue to monitor this practice very closely, and will report further on the action we are taking in due course.”


For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9239 or out of hours on 07917 232143.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report at: Dr Bijan Saha.

  • Inspectors found that Dr Bijan Saha was failing to meet all 11 standards checked at this inspection:
  • Respecting and involving people who use services
  • Care and welfare of people who use services
  • Safeguarding people who use services from abuse
  • Cleanliness and infection control
  • Management of medicines
  • Safety and suitability of premises
  • Requirements relating to workers
  • Staffing
  • Supporting workers
  • Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision
  • Records

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.