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Blackburn GP Surgery rated inadequate and placed into special measures by the Care Quality Commission

30 November 2016
Rishton and Great Harwood Surgery
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has rated Blackburn GP Practice, Rishton and Great Harwood Surgery, as Inadequate and placed them into special measures following an inspection by the CQC in September this year.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are given a rating in five key areas: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

The practice was rated as Inadequate for safe, effective and well-led domains, and rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ for the caring and responsive domains. The services provided by the practice have been rated as Inadequate overall.

Alison Holbourn, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice at CQC said:

“We found that people registered with Rishton and Great Harwood Surgery aren’t getting the high quality care which everyone should expect to receive from their GP practice. 

“At a previous inspection in September 2015, we rated Rishton and Great Harwood Surgery as Requires Improvement and have been monitoring the practice closely to ensure improvements were being made. At a focussed inspection in June 2016 we found insufficient progress in areas such as risk management.. This prompted us to carry out this most recent comprehensive inspection in September this year.

“It was disappointing to see the lack of improvement at this practice despite the previous inspection report being very clear about what action we expected them to take. We found patients were at risk of harm because systems and processes were not good enough to keep them safe. For example there was no system in place to monitor patients being prescribed high risk medicine putting them at real risk of harm.

“Staff also told us that they had raised concerns regarding incidents or near misses that were not acknowledged or investigated by the GP. This process needs to be improved to ensure incidents are reported, acted upon and learning shared, to reduce the chance of them happening again.

“I do not believe that the practice is likely to resolve its challenges without external support; placing the practice in to special measures ensures that action will be taken to improve the quality of care for patients.”

A full report of this inspection has been published.

Some of the areas where CQC have told the practice they must improve are:

  • The provider must ensure safe and effective management of medicines to include timely medication reviews and documentation of associated blood results, a system for recording prescriptions and improved security for storage of blank prescriptions.
  • The practice must ensure that appropriate and current patient information is shared on request with external agencies in particular in relation to safeguarding concerns.
  • The practice must ensure all patient identifiable information is stored securely and disposed of appropriately.
  • Put systems in place to ensure all staff have access to appropriate training and support.

The service will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated to urgent enforcement action. Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement we will move to close the service by adopting our proposal to remove this location or cancel the provider’s registration.

Patients registered with the practices being placed into special measures should be aware that a package of support is offered by NHS England and the Royal College of GPs to ensure that there are no immediate risks to patient safety at these GP practices whilst improvements are being made.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Kerri James on 07464 92 9966 or

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

Providers must display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.