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CQC inspectors place Northbourne Surgery into special measures

12 May 2016
Northbourne Surgery
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

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

A specialist team of inspectors rated the service as Inadequate for being safe, effective, well-led, and responsive to people’s needs, whilst it was rated Requires Improvement 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.

Northbourne Surgery was inspected in March 2016 by an inspection team led by a CQC Lead Inspector, accompanied by a second CQC Inspector, a GP specialist adviser, and a practice manager specialist adviser. A full report of this inspection has been published.

Inspectors found that the patients were positive about their interactions with staff and were treated with compassion and dignity.

But the practice did not operate a consistent approach to managing safety and risk:

  • Investigation results and other reports were not acted upon in a timely way to identify any abnormal results or urgent actions required.
  • Regular checks of medicines and emergency equipment are needed, and inspectors identified shortfalls in infection control procedures.
  • The process to demonstrate staff are approved to give vaccines had not been followed.
  • There was insufficient attention to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, as staff were unable to identify the safeguarding lead, and safeguarding policies had not been reviewed since 2009.
  • There were not robust processes for reporting, recording, acting on and monitoring significant events, incidents and near misses.

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

“It is important that the people who are registered with Northbourne Surgery can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP.

"During our inspection we saw that staff were caring and treated patients with compassion, dignity and respect. However, we also found that care and treatment was not always delivered in line with best practice.

“We have found significant areas of concern, which is why we are placing the practice into special measures - so opening the way for the practice to receive support from NHS England among others.

“We will continue to monitor this practice and we will inspect again in six months to check whether improvements have been made. I am hopeful that the practice will do what is required for the sake of its patients, but if we find that the service remains inadequate, we will consider taking further action.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Farrah Chandra on 07917 594 574 or, for media enquiries, call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. (Please note: the duty press officer 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 about Northbourne 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).

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. Further information on the display of 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.