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Northumberland Park Medical Group, Shiremoor Resource Centre Requires improvement

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 27 May 2020

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Northumberland Park Medical Group, Shiremoor Resource Centre on 6 March 2020 to follow up on breaches of regulations identified at a previous inspection on 22 and 29 January 2019.

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 requires improvement overall.

We rated the practice as requires improvement for providing safe services because:

  • There were gaps in systems to assess, monitor and manage risks to patient safety.
  • Receptionists had not been given guidance on identifying deteriorating or acutely unwell patients but due to the way in which the appointment system worked they were being asked to signpost some patients who telephoned for a same-day appointment to other services.
  • The practice was not sharing learning from significant events externally using SIRMS and there appeared to be a delay in the review of some significant events.
  • There was prescription stationary on the premises which had not been logged.

We rated the practice as requires improvement for providing responsive services because:

  • The appointment system required patients to call the practice between 8.30am and 9.30am if they wanted a same-day GP appointment. Patients calling after this time were told to call back the next day or were diverted to other services, however there was no system in place to determine if it was safe to do so.
  • Patient feedback regarding the appointment system was below average and lower than at the previous inspection.

We rated the practice as requires improvement for providing well-led services because:

  • While the practice had made some improvements since our inspection on 22 and 29 January 2020, it had not appropriately addressed the Requirement Notice in relation to good governance. At this inspection we also identified additional concerns that put patients at risk.
  • Leaders could not show that they had the capacity and skills to deliver high quality, sustainable care.
  • The practice did not have clear and effective processes for managing risks, issues and performance.

These areas affected all population groups so we rated all population groups as requires improvement.

We rated the practice as good for providing effective and caring services because:

  • Patients received effective care and treatment that met their needs.
  • Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect and involved them in decisions about their care.

We are mindful of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our regulatory function. This meant we took account of the exceptional circumstances arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when considering what enforcement action was necessary and proportionate to keep people safe as a result of this inspection. We will continue to monitor the service to keep people safe and to hold providers to account where it is necessary for us to do so.

The areas where the provider must make improvements are:

  • Ensure that care and treatment is provided in a safe way.
  • Establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care.

(Please see the specific details on action required at the end of this report).

The areas where the provider should make improvements are:

  • Continue to follow the appraisal timetable put in place to ensure all staff receive an appraisal every 12 months.
  • Formalise the supervision process for salaried and locum GPs.
  • Formalise the process for sharing clinical guidance between clinicians at the practice.

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


Requires improvement






Requires improvement


Requires improvement
Checks on specific services

People with long term conditions

Requires improvement

Families, children and young people

Requires improvement

Older people

Requires improvement

Working age people (including those recently retired and students)

Requires improvement

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)

Requires improvement

People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable

Requires improvement