A private slimming clinic has been rated ‘inadequate’ by a national watchdog after being found prescribing unlicensed weight loss medicines.

Kings Private Clinic, based in High Road, Ilford, was visited by Care Quality Commission (CQC) – responsible for monitoring, inspecting and regulating the UK’s health and social care services – inspectors in September.

The clinic provides weight loss services, including prescribing medicines and dietary advice to support weight reduction for people aged between 18 – 65.

In a report, published on November 22, the clinic was rated ‘inadequate’ overall – the lowest possible grade – and 'inadequate' in two of five inspection criteria: effectiveness and leadership.

King Private Clinic was rated ‘requires improvement’ in two further inspection criteria: safety and responsiveness.

The clinic was criticised for prescribing unlicensed weight loss medicines.

CQC inspectors said: “Treating patients with unlicensed medicines is higher risk than treating patients with licensed medicines, because unlicensed medicines may not have been assessed for safety, quality and efficacy.”

The medicines prescribed by the clinic are no longer recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or the Royal College of Physicians for the treatment of obesity, inspectors said.

Inspectors added: “The British National Formulary states ‘drug treatment should never be used as the sole element of treatment for obesity and should be used as part of an overall weight management plan’”.

Staff were also said to lack the “skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their roles” while leadership structures were criticised for lacking “clear responsibilities, roles and systems of accountability”.

The clinic previously identified that medical records were not being completed fully, however inspectors said leadership had failed to address the issue successfully.

The feedback inspectors received from patients was positive about the way staff treated people; patients said staff were friendly, helpful, encouraging, kind and understanding.

Inspectors wrote: “Staff understood patients’ personal, cultural, social and religious needs. They displayed an understanding and non-judgmental attitude to all patients.”

Kings Private Clinic did not respond to comment.