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CQC inspectors place Sittingbourne GP practice into special measures

10 August 2017
Iwade Health Centre
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has placed Iwade Health Centre, in Iwade, Sittingbourne, Kent into special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in June 2017.

Inspectors rated the service as Inadequate for being safe, effective and well-led, Requires Improvement for being responsive to people’s needs and Good for being caring.

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

CQC has placed six urgent conditions on the provider’s registration to ensure the safety of patients. The conditions include:

  • A restriction on new patients being registered;
  • Action to clear the existing backlog of repeat prescription requests, medication reviews and correspondence
  • The introduction of a system to ensure repeat prescription requests, medication reviews and correspondence are reviewed and dealt with
  • An urgent review of patient demand to determine the correct level of service provision and resource;
  • The provision of enough clinical staffing and appointments to deliver a safe service
  • The introduction of effective clinical governance systems so that all patients can access timely and safe care

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

“As a result of this inspection we have placed Iwade Health Centre into special measures – and to protect patients we also placed a number of urgent conditions on the provider’s registration."

“Given the level of concerns we had in June, we have re-inspected the service in July and as a result are now taking further enforcement action with the support of the local clinical commissioning group."

“The report from the July inspection will be issued in due course. As always any enforcement action taken by CQC is subject to appeal and we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Key findings of CQC’s inspection included:

Inspectors found that there were not enough staff to keep patients safe. The clinical team at the practice had resigned and the practice was reliant on locum GPs and nurses. Substantial and frequent staff shortages and poor management of agency or locum staff increased the risk of harm to people who used the service.

There was no clear division between the local and the corporate leadership structure. Staff told inspectors they were unsure who had responsibility for the running of the service.

Appropriate recruitment checks had not been undertaken prior to staff being employed including Data and Barring service checks. There was insufficient evidence to show that staff had the skills and knowledge to deliver effective care and treatment.

There were insufficient processes in place to ensure the proper and safe management of medicines. End of life care was not being effectively coordinated.

CQC will continue to monitor the practice working closely with NHS England and Swale

Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that patients are able to access a GP.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Lara Orija on 07789 875 306. 

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:
10 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.