A STRUGGLING doctor’s surgery has been told it must continue to make improvements, despite receiving praise from Government inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission has rated Church Lane surgery in Bocking good in the ‘safety’ and ‘well-led’ categories following an inspection.

But the surgery has again been given an overall ‘requires improvement’ rating for falling below national standards in other areas, such as the effectiveness and responsiveness of the service.

In its report the CQC also states it will be forced to take action against the surgery if it fails to address concerns over how it treats patients suffering with long-term conditions.

The report says: “We acknowledge the improvements made since the last inspection.

“However, insufficient improvements have been made such that there remains a rating of inadequate for patients with long-term conditions.

“The service will be kept under review and another inspection will be conducted within six months, and if there is not enough improvement, we will review the position and consider whether there is a need to take further action.”

Church Lane surgery was put into special measures in August 2018 when inspectors found the service to be ‘inadequate’ in all areas.

It was removed from special measures when it was rated ‘requires improvement’ after the CQC’s last visit in March 2019.

The latest inspection found the leadership at the surgery was committed to improving the service. Inspectors also say the practice provides care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm.

But they found patient satisfaction was still below the national average and raised concerns about how mental health issues are addressed.

Virgin Care, which runs Church Lane Surgery, has accepted it must improve the service on offer to patients but says has a proven record of turning the fortunes of struggling practices around.

Head of Primary Care Chris Person said: “We are pleased the inspectors have pointed out that the leadership at the surgery is committed to bringing about improvement.

“We have invested heavily in the surgery and made a lot of changes and 99 per cent of patients now say they would recommend the surgery.

“But we know there is still work to do to reach the standard we want for all those that use the practice and we are committed to ensuring that happens – our track record in driving through improvement across Essex shows that.”

Church Lane surgery has around 12,000 registered patients.

The CQC says it has a “slightly higher than average number” of patients more than 65 years old and about 9 per cent of patients are over the age of 75 years - higher than local and national averages.