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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 1 September 2021

We carried out an announced inspection at Ashton Medical Group on 13 August 2021. Overall, the practice is rated as good.

The ratings for each of the key questions are:

Safe – good

Effective - good

Caring - good

Responsive - good

Well-led – good

Following our previous inspection on 29 October 2019, the practice was rated Requires Improvement overall with the following ratings for each of the key questions:

Safe - good

Effective – requires improvement

Caring - good

Responsive - good

Well-led – requires improvement

We issued a requirement notice in respect of a breach of Regulation 17 (good governance) of the Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

At this inspection on 13 August 2021 we inspected the key questions safe, effective and well-led. We rated these as good. The previous ratings of good for the key questions caring and responsive remain in place.

The full reports for previous inspections can be found by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for Ashton Medical Group on our website at

Why we carried out this inspection

This inspection was a focused inspection to follow up on the breach of Regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 found in the inspection of 29 October 2019, and to be able to change the rating of the practice as appropriate.

How we carried out the inspection

Throughout the pandemic CQC has continued to regulate and respond to risk. However, taking into account the circumstances arising as a result of the pandemic, and in order to reduce risk, we have conducted our inspections differently.

This inspection was carried out in a way which enabled us to spend a minimum amount of time on site. This was with consent from the provider and in line with all data protection and information governance requirements.

This included:

  • Conducting interviews using video conferencing
  • Completing clinical searches on the practice’s patient records system and discussing findings with the provider
  • Reviewing patient records to identify issues and clarify actions taken by the provider
  • Requesting evidence from the provider
  • A site visit with minimum time spent on site

Our findings

We based our judgement of the quality of care at this service on a combination of:

  • what we found when we inspected
  • information from our ongoing monitoring of data about services and
  • information from the provider, patients, the public and other organisations.

We have rated this practice as good overall and good for all population groups.

We rated the practice good for providing safe services because:

  • The practice provided care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm.

We rated the practice good for providing effective services because:

  • Patients received effective care and treatment that met their needs. Improvements had been made as follows:

    • A new system was in place to ensure monitoring of the outcomes for people with long term conditions and those with poor mental health.
    • Quality Outcomes Framework data was now above average or in line with local and national averages for patients with long term conditions.

The rating of good for the key question caring remained in place from the previous inspection.

The rating of good for the key question responsive remained in place from the previous inspection.

We rated the practice good for providing well-led services because:

  • The way the practice was led and managed promoted the delivery of high-quality, person-centre care. Improvements had been made as follows:

    • The practice had embedded clear processes for managing risks, issues and performance.
    • The practice installed a secure web-based management tool which enabled partners and managers to have real-time oversight of risk and performance.
    • The practice had implemented improvement plans, including the introduction of a new telephone system and online consultations.

  • The practice adjusted how it delivered services to meet the needs of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients could access care and treatment in a timely way.

All areas requiring improvement had been acted upon and monitored.

Whilst we found no breaches of regulations, the provider should:

  • Increase the number of women attending cervical screening appointments.
  • Review oversight of patients prescribed high risk medicines whose monitoring has been postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details of our findings and the evidence supporting our ratings are set out in the evidence tables.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth BM BS BMedSci MRCGP

Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care

Inspection areas










Checks on specific services

People with long term conditions


Families, children and young people


Older people


Working age people (including those recently retired and students)


People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)


People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable