By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter
A private gynaecologist has been temporarily shut down after members of staff were found to be treating patients while they were infected with Covid-19.
Three members of staff at Queens Clinic in Marylebone had Covid but the health centre did not tell Public Health England.
The report found a doctor secretly continued working at the clinic despite having Covid and did not tell his patients.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) staff were alarmed to find no testing rules in place when they visited the clinic on September 2.
The report ruled there was nothing in place to stop infections from spreading and patients were not told that staff had tested positive.
Staff were not given PPE and instead were told to bring in their own masks.
The centre had not reviewed its Covid policy in the last year and two of the rooms in the service did not have any masks for patients, the report found.
A risk assessment had ruled that protective screens should have been in place in the reception area to stop Covid from spreading but when inspectors visited there were no screens in place.
There was also no formal protocol in place for cleaning spillages of body fluids on-site and the bins were overflowing in two consulting rooms.
Clinical waste bins appeared to have not been emptied for at least a week.
The CQC report said: “This service was placed in special measures following our previous inspection of nine and 10 February 2021.
“Insufficient improvements have been made in the area of infection control. Therefore, we are taking action in line with our enforcement procedures and have urgently suspended the service.
“A further comprehensive inspection of the service will take place and if insufficient improvement is made, this will lead to cancelling of the service’s registration.
“The service will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated to urgent cancellation of their registration.”
A spokesperson for Queen’s Clinic said: “We are disputing this CQC report and taking them to court.
“That doctor was shocked by this result, shocked because all the precautions were taken. He didn’t work, he straight away isolated.
“But he was fit, well and no symptoms of Covid whatsoever.
“Not a single patient in this practice who was seen was Covid-positive.
“It’s absolutely wrong – patients were notified [of the possible risk]. They were informed straight away by the doctor and asked if they had symptoms, told to take PCR test and let us know at once and follow the Government guidelines.”
On the question of whether the clinic notified PHE of the positive Covid tests, the spokesperson said: “If you take a PCR and the PCR is positive, the lab who carries out the test is the one to notify Public Health England.
“The clinic is not to notify.”
The spokesperson added that the clinic is open once again and accepting patients.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.