Southwark councillors have sought assurances after eight GP practices part of the Nexus Health Group were graded as inadequate, including over patient safety.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found a number of improvements were needed at Princess Street Group Practice, Surrey Docks Health Centre, Aylesbury Medical Centre, The Dun Cow Surgery, Commercial way Surgery and Decima Street Surgery & Artesian Health Centre following a November inspection.

The practices merged with Nexus Health Group in 2016, with a lack of oversight across the practices contributing to problems, Southwark Council’s healthier communities scrutiny commission heard.

The report, written by chief inspector of general practice, Professor Steve Field, found there were not appropriate systems in place for the management of medicine, while hundreds of abnormal test results hadn’t been viewed or filed, with patients awaiting results.

He said there was no oversight of results and correspondence, some medical equipment had expired and not all staff had had necessary training in safeguarding as well as fire and infection control.

Representatives from the Nexus Group could not attend the meeting, but representatives from the clinical commissioning group said Nexus were taking the results seriously.

Southwark CCG director of integrated commissioning, Sam Hepplewhite, said the group had since invested in staff training as part of a “comprehensive plan.”

She said: “They have invested not an inconsiderable amount of money and we have contributed towards that to help them get their improvements embedded and training in place.”

The CCG would be issuing breach of contract notices, with the GPs required to advertise their rating as well as the improvement plans at their surgeries.

“We do have a level of responsibility and we are taking it seriously,” she said.

Cllr Gavin Edwards raised concerns over whether the problems could have been picked up sooner.

“Should it take an inspection of this type in order to notice problems of this magnitude?

“Are those systems in place so that we don’t have to wait for a CQC inspection before we start trying to turn these things around again?”

Ms Hepplewhite said the CCG was looking to take a more reactive role, with the current contract set-up meaning problems at the surgeries couldn’t have been raised sooner.

“The primary services contract are standard NHS contracts…between NHS England and the  GP practice,” she said.

“We have learned we have to take a different approach because we haven’t got the right levers in the contract.

“We have had to react to a couple of these issues in the last couple of years and we have go to turn from being reactive to being more proactive.”

Southwark CCG clinical director for quality and service improvement, Dr Noel Baxter, said there needed to be a culture change across the practices to ensure it is staying on top over overarching issues as well as day-to-day problems.