• Doctor
  • GP practice

St Stephens Health Centre

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Bow Community Centre, William Place, London, E3 5ED (020) 8980 1760

Provided and run by:
St Stephens Health Centre

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 9 November 2022

St Stephen’s Health Centre is a GP practice situated in Bow Community Hall, William Place, London E3 5ED, and is a purpose-built surgery with access to 22 consulting rooms.

The practice works on site and collaboratively with a number of community services and allied health professionals; including two mental health nurses, a smoking cessation advisor, substance misuse and alcohol advisors, specialist diabetes nurses, Citizen’s Advice Bureau advisors, and physiotherapists and pharmacists.

St Stephen’s Health Centre provides NHS primary care services to approximately 13,200 patients living in the Bow area of Tower Hamlets through a General Medical Services (GMS) contract (a contract between NHS England and general practices for delivering general medical services and is the commonest form of GP contract). The practice is part of NHS North East London ICB (Integrated Care Board), and 32 GP practices within Tower Hamlets that is split into seven networks. St Stephen’s Health Centre is part of the Bow Health Network which is comprised of five neighbouring practices. The provider is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to provide the regulated activities of diagnostic and screening procedures; treatment of disease; disorder or injury; maternity and midwifery services; surgical procedures; and family planning.

St Stephen’s Health Centre is open between 8.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday. Extended surgery hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 6.30pm to 7.30pm, and Thursday 7.30am to 8.30am. The contract for extended hours was recently revised at the time of our inspection and provided as part of a collaborative of four primary care networks, this enables patients to access GPs, practice nurses and health care assistants until 8pm weekdays and 9-5pm Saturdays.

The practice clinical staff are four female GP partners, five female and two male salaried GPs, two GP registrars, five practice nurses and three healthcare assistants. In addition, two network pharmacists, two network physiotherapists and one network mental health advisor are based at the practice several days over the week. The practice management and administration team are a practice manager, a deputy practice manager role (being recruited to at the time of the inspection), an operations manager and approximately 20 administration and reception staff.

The practice is a GP Registrar training practice and a Queen Mary and Westfield University ‘superhub’ teaching practice for medical students. The practice supports a practice nurse from the ‘Open Doors’ practice nurse programme (an initiative set up in 2007 in response to practice nurse shortages in Tower Hamlets, the scheme recruits nurses from secondary care and provides them with practice nurse training and undertake secondment in general practices in the area).

Information published by Public Health England shows that deprivation within the practice population group is in the third lowest decile (two of 10). The lower the decile, the more deprived the practice population is relative to others. The ethnic make-up of the practice area is 57% Asian, 21% White, 15% Black, 4% Mixed, and 3% Other.

Overall inspection


Updated 9 November 2022

We carried out an announced review of St Stephens Health Centre on the 14 October 2022.

Following our previous inspection on 5 May 2016, there were areas we said the provider should improve and the practice was rated as good overall, and for all key questions.

The full reports for previous inspections can be found by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for of St Stephens Health Centre on our website at www.cqc.org.uk.

Why we carried out this inspection

We carried out this inspection in line with our inspection priorities. This was a review of information without undertaking a site visit to follow up on patient feedback that was brought to our attention, and on areas we recommended the practice should improve at our previous (5 May 2016) inspection.

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

  • What we found when we carried out our review.
  • Information from our ongoing monitoring of data about services.
  • Information from the provider, patients, the public and other organisations.

We have rated the practice as good overall.

Safe - not inspected - rating of good carried forward from previous inspection.

Effective – not inspected - rating of good carried forward from previous inspection.

Caring – not inspected - rating of good carried forward from previous inspection.

Responsive - good.

Well-led - good.

How we carried out the inspection

This inspection was carried out by requesting evidence from the provider and conducting staff interviews using video conferencing.

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

  • The provider sought and monitored findings from patient feedback including its Patient Participation Group (PPG), the national GP patient survey, and the Friends and Family Test (FFT).
  • Patient feedback was used to review and improve access. Patients were able to access care and treatment within an appropriate timescale for their needs and the telephone system had been upgraded.
  • Infection control issues identified at our previous (2016) inspection were addressed.
  • Arrangements for infection control and cleaning had been reviewed and were appropriate.

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

  • Evaluate the impact of recent changes to improve systems for patients to access services, and continue to improve if necessary, including telephone access.

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

Dr Sean O’Kelly BSc MB ChB MSc DCH FRCA

Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Interim Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services