An NHS GP practice struggling to hit childhood immunisation targets has been given the second lowest possible grade by the national watchdog for care provision.

Following an inspection in December last year, The Care Quality Commission rated Higham Hill Medical Centre as ‘requires improvement’ overall.

In a report, published on January 16, the practice was criticised for lacking a “formal strategy to achieve their priorities”.

The practice in Higham Hill Road, Walthamstow, provides services to approximately 6,000 patients.

Inspectors found the system for managing medicine reviews for patients on repeat medicines was “not effective”.

Inspectors wrote: “The practice had a tray in the reception area where they placed ‘important documents’ which included safety alerts and new clinical guidelines.

“The GPs initials were written on each document with the expectation they would sign when they have read them. We found multiple documents which had been signed by only one GP or no GPs dating back to 2018…”

In one instance, an alert regarding the increased risk of cardiovascular death in patients treated with febuxostat was not responded to in the correct manner.

Inspectors found a search had identified two patients as being prescribed this medicine, but there was not evidence of discussion or changes in regards to the future prescribing of febuxostat.

CQC inspectors further criticised the practice for being below the national target for uptake of childhood immunisations – a minimum of 90 per cent for all four major immunisations.

The practices measles, mumps and rubella immunisation rate was only 79.4 per cent.

Inspectors did note the practice had contacted the parents or guardians of children due to have childhood immunisations and provided education appointments for those who had refused.

The practice’s catchment populace is rated two out of 10 on the NHS’ deprivation scale, where one is the most deprived and 10 is the least deprived.