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Care Quality Commission’s programme of inspections helps Washington GP surgery improve patient care

23 June 2016
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Harraton Surgery, Washington to be Good after an inspection in May 2016.

During Harraton’s first inspection in September 2015, the CQC rated the surgery as Inadequate and placed it into special measures.

As is standard with all practices placed into special measures, after a period of six months we inspect again to check whether sufficient improvements have been made.

Sue McMillan, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice said: “We did not believe that the practice was likely to resolve its challenges without external support, and this is why it was placed it into special measures.

“After a period of six months we inspected again and were pleased to see the number of improvements made by the surgery to raise the standard of care they provide to their local community.”

During our original inspection, one of the things that concerned us was the practice’s unclear approach to identifying and investigating incidents. On our follow up visit however, inspectors found an open and transparent approach to safety and an effective system in place for recording significant events. Significant events were now also included as a standing agenda item for team meetings. We found staff knew how to raise significant events and were able to tell us about improvements made as a result of incidents.

For example, following an incident, where the refrigerator used to store vaccines was turned off accidentally, the practice had wired it into a switch-less socket to avoid the risk of a similar incident happening in the future.

During the follow up inspection in May 2016 we found the practice had made good progress with implementing improvements, such as staff training to enable a higher level of patient care and safety. Staff told us implementing improvements had been the focus for the practice over the last six months and we were impressed with the significant action that had been taken to address the concerns we raised. They had developed a clear vision, strategy and plan to deliver high quality care and promote good outcomes for patients.

Sue McMillan added: “Although we could see the practice had made numerous improvements, it will take time for them to demonstrate that the level of improvement they’ve shown can be sustained. We encourage them to keep working with partners to look at ways of improving the practice further and more importantly how they can sustain those changes until the next time we inspect and beyond.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Kerri James by email 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. 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

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are being given a rating in five key areas, are they; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. The services provided by Harraton Surgery have been rated as Good overall.

Providers must 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 requirement for providers to prominently display their 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.