You are here

CQC identifies significant improvements at Northumberland GP practice

15 September 2015
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has welcomed improvements in the quality of services provided by the Widdrington Medical Practitioners in Northumberland.

In October last year inspectors had identified concerns with regards to the safety and leadership of the practice. As a result the practice was given an overall rating of Inadequate.

A further inspection which took place in July 2015 has concluded that the practice has addressed all areas of concern and has now been awarded an overall rating of Good. The practice has also been rated as Good for the services provided to all population groups including older people, people with long-term conditions, families, children and young people and those experiencing poor mental health.

A full report of the latest inspection has been published on the CQC website at

Inspectors found that since the original inspection the practice had taken significant steps to improve leadership, with a focus on improving the quality of its services to patients.

  • A comprehensive reporting system for managing significant events and incidents had been introduced and learning from incidents was being shared with all staff.
  • Further training had led to improvements in patient care, and better understanding amongst staff of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding vulnerable adults.
  • Medicines were being managed safely. Systems had been put in place to check that vaccines were in date and the practice had implemented effective arrangements for the recording and audit trail of blank prescription forms.
  • An infection control audit had been carried out by a specialist infection control nurse from the local NHS Trust. As a result new policies and procedures had been produced to ensure patients were not at risk from infection.

Professor Steve Field Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“It was disappointing that our inspection last year highlighted concerns, in relation to safety risks caused by poor infection control practice and medicines management. “I am very pleased to see that since then, the practice has made significant changes which have led to a much better service for patients.

“It is clear that the practice took our findings seriously, seeking external advice to help it improve and working hard to implement the necessary changes. All of the staff should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and I applaud the dedication and commitment they have shown to improving the care of their patients.”


For further information, please contact Kirstin Hannaford, Regional Engagement Manager on 0191 233 3629. 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


CQC has published a full report on Widdrington Medical Practitioners at


Since 1 April, providers have been required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. For further information on the display of CQC ratings, please visit:


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.