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CQC inspectors place Sittingbourne GP practice into special measures

14 July 2017
Dr KE Wilcox & Partners
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has placed Dr K E Wilcox and Partners (also known as The Medical Centre), in London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent into Special Measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in March 2017.

Previously in June 2015 the practice had been inspected and was rated as Requires Improvement overall.  At this inspection in March 29017, Inspectors rated the service as Inadequate for being well-led and safe and Requires Improvement for being effective and Good for being caring and responsive to people’s needs.

A full report of this inspection has been published on our website.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice CQC’s South region said:

“Our inspectors had previously carried out an inspection at the Medical Centre in June 2015 and this new inspection was to follow up on our initial concerns and focus on the work the practice had carried out since that first visit."

“It is worrying that despite the concerns identified at that first inspection, our team found a further decline in the standards and a number of additional concerns. Patients were at risk of harm because systems currently in place were not embedded well enough to keep them safe. For example, not all staff understood what constituted an incident or near miss, leaving patients at risk of being unsafe."

“With this in mind we had no option but to place the practice into special measures. We will re-inspect the practice within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the service provided by this surgery remains inadequate, we will consider further action."

Key findings of CQC’s inspection included:

Risks to patients were not always assessed and well managed. For example, those relating to recruitment checks.

There was a system for reporting and recording significant events. However, not all staff understood what constituted an incident or near miss.

The practice did not have an adequate supply of medicines and equipment to respond to medical emergencies in line with national guidance.


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

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Last updated:
14 July 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.