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CQC’s programme of inspections helps Blackburn GP surgery improve patient care

26 May 2017
The Family Practice
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by The Family Practice in Blackburn to be Good following an inspection in March.

During an inspection in July 2016 CQC rated the practice as Inadequate and put into special measures. The concerns identified included significant gaps in the practice’s governance arrangements and safe recruitment processes.

Since this inspection, the practice has implemented changes that the CQC asked to be made. These changes have drastically improved patient care and see the practice’s rating change from Inadequate to Good. They are also rated Good for each of the individual domains of safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led.            

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

“At an inspection in July 2016 we did not believe that The Family Practice was likely to resolve its challenges without being placed into special measures."

“The practice was previously rated as inadequate, and the care being provided ineffective and unsafe and the practice was not being well-led."

“Since this inspection, the leadership structure has been simplified, and we have seen significant improvements in the level of care being provided."

“We now see a practice that is constantly monitoring and reviewing the needs of people using this service, and making sure the services they provide are reflective of those needs."

“The improvements that the provider has made are impressive, and now they must prove that they are able to sustain them.”  

Inspectors found that the practice had made significant progress in addressing concerns that had been identified in July 2016. Key findings at this inspection included:

  • There was a system in place for reporting and recording significant events, and learning from these events was also maximised.
  • Staff assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with current evidence based guidance. Staff had been trained to provide them with the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment.
  • Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment.
  • Information about services and how to complain was available. Improvements were made to the quality of care as a result of individual complaints and concerns.
  • The practice was able to demonstrate its understanding of its population profile and had used this understanding to people’s needs.
  • Patients said they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP and there was continuity of care, with urgent appointments available the same day.

CQC’s report on The Family Practice can be found on our website.   


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement 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 new programme of inspections led by Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, all of England’s GP practices are being inspected and given a rating.

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 and out-of-hours service, 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.