A general practice failed to produce evidence it had checked a locum’s criminal record and did not follow recruitment regulations.

The Elms Surgery in The Avenue, Watford, was found to have made the error and several others during a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection on November 28.

In the report, published May 24, the regulator rated the GP surgery 'requires improvement'.

Inspectors said it did not produce evidence of a photographic identity check or any references for the locum.

But despite requiring improvement in being safe, effective and well-led, the surgery did receive a ‘good’ rating for the caring and responsive areas.

The Elms Surgery spokesperson said: “We appreciate CQC has asked us to improve administrative elements of our service including HR, health and safety checks and learning updates.

“We have taken these on board and will continue to work on the recommendations from the report and are confident that we will make the necessary improvements imminently.”

Inspectors found that the practice did not check that staff - two non-clinical and one clinical - had vaccinations in line with the UK Health Security Agency.

A general risk assessment was carried out in 2020 but should have been reviewed in February 2021. However, the surgery did carry out the assessment “immediately after the inspection”, the report adds.

Two clinical staff and seven non-clinical staff had either not completed or were overdue infection prevention and control training.

However, hand hygiene and sharps audits were carried out monthly.

Inspectors were also concerned that the surgery had not met the national targets for childhood immunisations and screenings for cervical cancer.

But patients said staff treated them with kindness, compassion, dignity and respect and they could “access care and treatment in a timely way”.

The Elms Surgery also faired better than England’s average for patients who stated they were involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment.

In England overall, 89.9% agreed with the statement, compared to  92.5% at The Elms Surgery.