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CQC inspectors place Essex GP practice into special measures

22 December 2015
Benfleet Surgery
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has placed the Benfleet Surgery in Benfleet, Essex, into special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

A specialist team of inspectors rated the service, in Constitution Hill, as Inadequate for being safe, effective and well-led, as Requires Improvement for being responsive, although it was rated Good for being caring. The practice has been given an overall rating of Inadequate.

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.

Benfleet Surgery was inspected in September 2015 by an inspection team led by a CQC lead inspector accompanied by a GP and a practice manager advisor. A full report of this inspection has been published on this website today.

Inspectors received positive feedback from patients about staff and said they were treated with compassion and dignity. Appointments were available on the day and urgent requests were responded to in a timely manner. Patients also said they never had to wait and were always able to speak to staff or GPs to resolve issues.

However, the inspection also highlighted a number of concerns and the surgery must:

  • Ensure there is appropriate emergency medical equipment in place.
  • Address the risks identified in fire assessments and infection prevention control assessments and ensure the premises are safe to provide care and treatment.
  • Include necessary employment checks for all staff during recruitment processes.
  • Make sure formal governance arrangements are in place, including systems for assessing and monitoring risks and the quality of the service being provided.
  • Ensure there is an accessible system for the identification, recording, handling and response to complaints.
  • Provide training, supervision and support to enable staff to undertake their roles.

Following the inspection CQC placed condition’s on the provider’s registration relating to conducting surgical activities and the service’s management of infection prevention control. On 11 November 2015 inspectors returned to the surgery to carry out a follow up inspection and, while some improvements had been made, more work needed to be done. A full report of our November inspection will be published at a later date.

Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“While patients gave us positive feedback about staff at and GPs at the surgery, during our inspection in September we also found concerns surrounding the systems and checks in place to ensure people were not at risk of harm. It is important that everyone who is registered with the surgery can rely on getting the safe, high quality care which they are entitled to receive from their GP.

“In particular we found Benfleet Surgery Inadequate for safety, for being well led and effective. This is why we are placing the practice into special measures, so that it can get the support that it needs to ensure improvements are made.

“After a period of six months we will inspect again to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the practice remains inadequate, we will consider taking further action.”


For further information, please contact Louise Grifferty, Regional Engagement Manager on 07717 422917. 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

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report about the Benfleet Surgery.

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).

Since 1 April, providers have been required to 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.