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CQC places Ailsworth Medical Centre into Special Measures

17 September 2015
  • Media

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

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care at Ailsworth Medical Centre in Peterborough, Cambrideshire, to be Inadequate following an inspection carried out in June 2015. A full report of the inspection has been published today:

Ailsworth Medical Centre, Peterborough has approximately 2300 registered patients and provides general medical services to people who live in Peterborough or the surrounding villages.

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 found the practice had completed reviews of significant events and other incidents which had been shared with staff at meetings. However, the practice had not clearly identified learning actions that could be put into place and followed up so that outcomes for patients were improved.

This was the second inspection of this service since it was registered. The previous CQC inspection took place on 8 September 2014. We found the practice were not meeting five essential standards and asked them to take action. When we went back to follow up in June 2015, we found that the practice had failed to take appropriate action to address three of these shortfalls. This is the main reason why we are putting the practice into special measures.

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

  • Improve the arrangements for the security and storage of blank prescription forms.
  • Improve the safety of medicines by; completing a risk assessment for the security of medicines, introducing a policy to ensure medicines are stored at the required temperature and introducing formal checks on the management of high risk medicines.
  • Ensure the recruitment process follows the policy and that the appropriate records are maintained for all staff.
  • Review the systems in place for assessing the risk of, and preventing, detecting and controlling the spread of infections.
  • Ensure that staff receive appropriate training and a performance appraisal so that they can carry out the duties they are employed to perform.
  • Ensure there are effective systems or processes in place to access, monitor and improve the quality and safety of the services provided. This should include reviewing formal governance arrangements, policies and procedures, systems for information governance, equipment checks and health and safety risk management.

The provider must send CQC a report that says what action they are going to take to meet these requirements.

Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice and Dentistry in CQC’s Central region said:

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

“Specifically, we found the practice to be inadequate for providing safe and well led services. We found that the practice required improvement for effective and responsive services.”

“We know that Ailsworth Medical Centre 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.”


For further information, please contact Jade Quittenton, Regional Engagement Officer on 0191 2333649 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:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


CQC has published a full report at:


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. For further information on the upcoming requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings, please visit:


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.