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Barnsley GP practice to exit special measures following significant improvements for patients

14 January 2016
Wombwell Medical Centre Practice
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has taken a Barnsley GP practice out of special measures following improvements in the quality of its services.

Wombwell Medical Centre Practice on George Street in Barnsley, South Yorkshire was rated Inadequate under the Care Quality Commission's new approach to the inspection of GP practices following an inspection in December 2014, and was put into special measures.

When CQC inspected Wombwell Medical Centre Practice in December 2014, inspectors identified six areas for improvement. The practice was rated Inadequate for being safe and well-led, Requires Improvement for being effective and responsive, and Good for being caring.

In the latest inspection in November 2015, a specialist team of inspectors found the practice had improved on all of the six areas previously identified. Inspectors rated the practice Good for services provided to all population groups and all key areas of inspection. The overall rating for the practice has moved from Inadequate to Good.

A copy of the report from this latest inspection has been published on the CQC website today.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“It is clear that Wombwell Medical Centre Practice has made improvements since our original inspection when we had serious concerns relating to the safe delivery of services and the leadership of the practice.

“With the support of the Royal College of General Practitioners programme to support practices in special measures, NHS England and Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, the practice has been able to make improvements, and is now providing a better accessible, safe and clinically effective service.

“I am pleased to announce that Wombwell Medical Centre Practice will come out of special measures and I congratulate them on the progress they have made so far.

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice for the North of England, said:

“When we inspected the practice in November 2015 we found improvements had been made in several areas. There was a renewed leadership structure and vision of care at the practice. Lessons had been learned and regular quality audits were taking place.

“Action had been taken to address concerns over staff training and ensure staff were supported by regular appraisals. The practice had also made improvements in medicines management, infection control, emergency procedures, and safeguarding patients.

“The practice has worked hard, with support from the Royal College of General Practitioners programme to support practices in special measures, the CCG and NHS England, on the issues we identified in our last inspection and has proactively engaged with its patients and staff to improve the service. Wombwell Medical Centre Practice has been rated good overall and is now out of special measures.”

Inspectors found that staff understood their responsibilities to raise concerns and to report incidents and near misses, and systems were in place to ensure incidents were recorded and investigated. Staff had received recent training appropriate to their roles and any further training needs had been identified and planned for.

Patient’s needs were assessed and care was planned and delivered following best practice guidelines. Patients spoke positively about the practice and told inspectors staff were helpful and treated them with dignity and respect, and evidence showed patient outcomes had improved.

The practice worked with the Royal College of General Practitioners programme to support practices in special measures, the NHS England Area Team and Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group to help improve services provided to the local population, as a result patients said they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP and that there was continuity of care, including access to urgent appointment on the same day.

There were systems in place to monitor and improve quality and identify risk, and the practice proactively sought feedback from staff and patients to better improve the service. This was a led by a renewed leadership structure and vision the practice had introduced, and staff said they felt valued and supported.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Mark Humphreys on 0191 233 3519 or 07881656012.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report at Wombwell Medical Centre Practice.

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections led by Prof Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, all of England’s GP practices are being inspected and given a rating.

Since October 2014, any GP practice that is found to be Inadequate on inspection will automatically be placed into special measures, opening the way to a package of support from NHS England. Within six months, CQC will carry out another comprehensive inspection. If the overall rating remains Inadequate, CQC will begin proceedings to cancel its registration, subject to the usual representations process.

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, we always ask the following five questions of services.


  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

For every NHS GP practice we will look at the quality of care for the following six population groups: Older people, People with long-term conditions, Families, children and young people, Working age people (including those recently retired and students), People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable, People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia).

Since 1 April, providers have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.