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

22 September 2016
The Family Practice
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has rated Blackburn GP Practice, The Family Practice, as Inadequate and placed the practice into special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

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

The Family Practice was rated as Inadequate for safe, effective and well-led domains, and Requires Improvement for 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 The Family Practice aren’t getting the high quality care which everyone should expect to receive from their GP practice. 

“We found patients were at risk of harm because systems and processes were not good enough to keep them safe. For example appropriate recruitment checks were not always undertaken before staff started working at the practice.

“We were also concerned that patient outcomes were hard to identify as little or no reference was made to audits or quality improvement and there was no evidence that the practice was comparing its performance to others; either locally or nationally.

“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:

  • Ensure recruitment arrangements include all necessary employment checks for all staff.
  • Ensure a quality improvement programme is implemented which may include clinical audits to ensure improvements to care and treatment have been achieved.
  • Ensure staff training is undertaken and appropriately managed to ensure all staff have the skills and qualifications to carry out their roles.
  • Ensure infection prevention and control is appropriately monitored.

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

Patients registered with practices which are placed into special measures should be aware that the package of support being offered by NHS England and the Royal College of GPs will ensure that there are no immediate risks to patient safety at these GP practices whilst improvements are being made. This does not mean that these practices will close.

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).

Providers are required to 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.