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Blackburn GP Surgery rated inadequate and placed into special measures by the CQC

19 January 2017
Limefield and Cherry Tree Surgeries
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has rated Blackburn GP Practice, Limefield and Cherry Tree Surgeries, as Inadequate and placed them into special measures following an inspection by the CQC in October 2016.

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, and well-led, Requires Improvement for effective and responsive and Good for caring. 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 Limefield and Cherry Tree Surgeries are not getting the high quality care which everyone should expect to receive from their GP practice.

“It was worrying to see that comprehensive processes were not in place to keep patients safe. We found risk assessments, including fire risk assessments, to be lacking details, or not available at all.

“We also found a lack of good leadership at the practice and this meant areas such as staff training needed serious attention. For example we saw no evidence that staff had received training in safeguarding patients from abuse.

“We found staff to be caring towards patients, and there was positive feedback from patients about their interactions, they told us they were treated with compassion and dignity. However patients also expressed frustration with the practice booking system and told us they found the telephone triage appointments to be impersonal.

“There was little evidence of commitment by the practice to driving long term learning and improvement by auditing patient outcomes which was disappointing.

“I do not believe that the practice is likely to resolve its challenges without external support; placing the practice into 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 on the CQC website.

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

  • Implement effective processes for reporting, recording, acting on and monitoring significant events, incidents and near misses.
  • Carry out quality improvement initiatives which may include clinical audits, and re-audits, to ensure improvements to care and treatment have been achieved and sustained.
  • Ensure appropriate policies and procedures are available to staff which reflect current guidance and the activities undertaken at the practice.
  • Improve the management and monitoring of staff training so that all staff are trained to ensure they have the skills and qualifications to carry out their roles.
  • The practice’s own complaints process should be followed when managing patient’s complaints.

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 by email at or by phone on 07464 92 9966.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Since 1 April 2015, 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.