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CQC find significant improvements required at Vocare, Somerset

Published:
4 August 2017
Service:
Wellington House
Categories:
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission has told Vocare, known locally as Somerset Doctors Urgent Care (part of the Vocare Group) that it must make improvements to its NHS 111 service and its GP Out of Hours service following recent inspections. The GP Out of Hours service has been placed into special measures.

CQC carried out this announced comprehensive inspection of Vocare’s service at Wellington House on 24 and 25 April 2017.

Overall the GP Out of Hours service has been rated as Inadequate and placed into special measures. It was rated Inadequate for being safe, effective and well led, Requires improvement for being responsive to people’s needs and Good for being caring.

In a separate inspection, the NHS 111 service was rated Requires Improvement overall. It was rated as Inadequate for being well led, Requires Improvement for being safe and effective and Good for being caring and responsive to people’s needs.

Full reports of both inspections have been published on our website.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“NHS 111 and GP Out of hours services are a vital part of the urgent care system which takes pressure away from Accident and Emergency and GP services by allowing people to have easy access to healthcare and advice."

“I am disappointed to see that Vocare is not demonstrating that it can provide the service that patients need. We expect services to demonstrate that they prioritise people with the most urgent needs at times of high demand, and to ensure that care and advice is delivered safely and effectively, and they are referred to the right service as quickly as possible when necessary."

“While we did see aspects of good care provided by committed staff who treated patients courteously and with dignity and respect, we had significant concerns over other aspects of the services. While the NHS 111 service is rated as Requires Improvement. we have placed the GP Out of Hours service into special measures."

“Vocare has assured us that they are aware of the issues we have identified and these will be addressed. We will be monitoring the service closely to ensure these improvements continue."

In the GP Out of Hours service CQC has told Vocare that it must make a number of improvements including ensuring:

  • There are robust and effective systems and processes to monitor and improve the quality and safety of the services and mitigate risks relating to the health, safety and welfare of service users. This includes staff training, recruitment processes and management of medicines.
  • There are adequate staffing levels in place to provide timely access to the service for all patients including providing reassurance where there are long waits for a response
  • Complaints and significant events are dealt with consistently with clear explanations of actions taken and the identification of learning or sharing of learning.
  • Serious incidents, deaths or safeguarding referrals are subject to statutory notifications to the Care Quality Commission.

While in the NHS111 service CQC has told Vocare that it must make a number of improvements including ensuring:

  • There are robust and effective systems and processes in place to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of the services provided and mitigate risks relating to the health, safety and welfare of service users
  • There are adequate professional employment checks for all staff before employment commences.
  • There is an accessible and organised system for oversight of risk assessments and safety checks and access to emergency equipment such as first aid and fire safety equipment.
  • Staff must have regular call auditing, including clinician consultations, in line with Vocare policy.

Ends

For further information, please contact John Scott, Regional Engagement Manager on 077898 75809.

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:
04 August 2017

Notes to editors

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.