You are here

CQC places Constable Country Rural Medical Practice into Special Measures

8 May 2015
Constable Country Rural Medical Practice
  • Media

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

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care at Constable Country Rural Medical Practice in East Bergholt, Suffolk, to be Inadequate following an inspection carried out in March 2015. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

Constable Country Rural Medical Practice provides medical services to approximately 10,990 patients living in East Bergholt, Capel St Mary and the surrounding villages on the Suffolk and Essex border.

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 that while staff offered a caring and supportive service, data showed patient outcomes were average for the locality. Although some audits had been carried out, inspectors saw no evidence that audits were driving improvement to improve patient outcomes.

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

  • The practice must implement effective systems for the management of risks against inappropriate or unsafe care. This should include arrangements for managing significant events, safety alerts and clinical audits.
  • The practice must ensure documented cleaning checks are undertaken. Infection control audits also need to be carried out, with actions identified and completed.
  • Processes must be in place for sharing the learning from significant events and complaints with all staff.
  • There must be adequate systems in place for the disposal of prescribed medicines.
  • Safe and clinically supervised systems must be in place for reviewing patient correspondence and these should be actioned in a timely way.

CQC is working closely with NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to support the practice while it addresses the issues identified by the inspection.

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 Constable Country Rural Medical Practice 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 Constable Country Rural Medical Practice 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 media enquiries, call Regional Engagement Officer, Helen Gildersleeve on 0191 233 3379. For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please 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 on Constable Country Rural Medical Practice.

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.