What does inadequate practice look like? Examples from our GP inspections

Page last updated: 26 April 2022
Organisations we regulate

Our inspections of GP practices have highlighted common features of inadequate practice.

We are sharing these short case studies as part of our role to encourage improvement in patient care.

In each example, we highlight a common case of inadequate practice and explain the negative impact this has on the practice and on people receiving care.


  • No analysis of significant events
  • Safeguarding protocols not robust and staff not appropriately trained
  • Not screening staff properly when recruiting


  • No clinical audits or evaluation of the service
  • Not caring for patients using up-to-date best practice


  • Little concern for patient's privacy and dignity in reception and waiting areas
  • No lists of people at the end of life or sharing this information with out-of-hours services


  • Poor availability of appointments at times which suit patients
  • Difficult to contact the practice by telephone
  • No same-sex clinicians


  • Absence of vision for the organisation
  • Lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities to run the practice day-to-day
  • Poor visibility of leaders and no whole-practice meetings

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How to use these examples

They correspond to the five key questions that we ask about services in our inspections).

This is not an exhaustive list of inadequate practice but does highlight some common features and recurring themes.

A decision to rate a practice inadequate overall would take careful consideration of the quality of care across each of the five key questions we ask when we inspect.