General practitioner chain Centric Health does not have emergency care in General Practice Acacialaan (Zuid-Holland) in order. This is reported by the inspectorate, which gave the chain an indication. A day after the inspection announced this, there is again no GP in the practice.
The message from the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ) shows that general practitioner chain Centric Health Zuid-Holland BV (Centric Health) does not have emergency care in General Practice Acacialaan in Pijnacker (South Holland) in order. The Inspectorate found, among other things, that the practice was difficult to reach at ‘several times’ and that a GP was not always available to provide emergency care within 15 minutes.
The IGJ released this news yesterday. A day later, there is again no GP present – and a GP is still being sought for tomorrow. Anyone who calls the telephone number of the practice today will hear via a recorded tape that the practice is ‘closed due to circumstances’ and can optionally select the ‘urgent’ button. Practice manager Jasper Zegveld confirms that today there is no general practitioner who can provide emergency care within 15 minutes. “It has not been necessary today”, but if a patient calls the emergency number, an employee will triage whether “a GP from a practice nearby” can provide emergency care, or whether the patient needs to go to the emergency room or 112 to call. This is contrary to the inspection report. He writes that ‘the practice is not affiliated with a general practitioner group (hagro)’ and that ‘deputation is not arranged in any other way for emergency care in the absence of a general practitioner’.
The tape also still states that patients can contact the GP in Delft after 5 p.m. for emergency complaints. According to the inspectorate, this is contrary to the guidelines of the National Association of General Practitioners (LHV). A spokesperson for health insurer DSW said in a short response that they have daily contact with Huisartsenpraktijk Acacialaan and that they are looking for solutions to guarantee the continuity of (emergency) general practitioner care for their policyholders.
According to the Inspectorate’s report, these are ‘serious shortcomings that lead to a major risk to patient safety’. Centric Health must inform the Inspectorate monthly about how emergency care is arranged. If the GP chain ‘does not meet the requirements for emergency care or does not provide insight into this, an order subject to periodic penalty payments can be imposed’.
Centric Health Zuid-Holland has eight branches. One of these is the Medisch Punt Zuid practice in Rotterdam. Earlier, the IGJ confirmed that it has also launched an investigation into this practice. Centric Health South Holland is part of Centric Health Netherlands. That in turn is part of the Irish Centric Health organization. Private investors are behind Centric Health.