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CQC place Red Suite GP Practice, Gillingham into Special Measures

5 November 2015
Red Suite
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has placed a Gillingham GP practice into special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care at Red Suite in Balmoral Gardens, Gillingham, to be Inadequate following an inspection carried out in June 2015. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

Red Suite provides primary medical services to approximately 5,100 patients in the locality.

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

Inspectors rated the practice good for caring, requiring improvement for effectiveness and being responsive to peoples needs while safety and inadequate for being safe or well led.

It was also inadequate for providing services for Older people, People with long-term conditions; Families, children and young people; Working age people(including those recently retired and students)

The report highlights a number of areas where improvements must be made including:

  • Ensure recruitment arrangements include all necessary employment checks for all staff.
  • Ensure the governance arrangements include systems and processes to audit and monitor the quality and safety of the services provided, including systems to demonstrate and provide assurance of how patients’ health care needs are managed, supported and met.
  • Ensure the governance arrangements include audits to monitor staff training, infection control, and keeping the business continuity plan updated.
  • Ensure the governance arrangements include a system to maintain and deploy sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff, to effectively support and meet the needs of patients including all clinical and administrative tasks.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice for the South, said:

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

"Although the patients we met told us they were treated with dignity and respect, we also found that care and treatment was not always delivered in line with best practice.

“We know that Red Suite has acknowledged the areas where action must be taken. We have found significant areas of concern, which is why we are placing the practice into special measures - so opening the way to 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.”

Sarah Macdonald, Director of Commissioning at NHS England South (South East) said:

“General practice is the bedrock of the NHS and it’s pleasing that the majority of practices inspected are rated good, with some rated outstanding. These inspections are about ensuring that every patient, anywhere across the country, receives consistently high quality services by identifying issues so improvements can be made. For those practices placed in special measures that need extra support, we are working to help turn the affected practices around.

“Red Suite Practice has confirmed its commitment to making the necessary improvements set out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  NHS England is working alongside NHS Medway CCG Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to support the practice to take the action needed to make sure it has the right processes in place to support the delivery of safe, high quality care to all its patients.”


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report about the Red Suite.

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.