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CQC places Polkyth Surgery in Cornwall into Special Measures

8 May 2015
Polkyth Surgery
  • Media

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

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care at Polkyth Surgery in St Austell to be Inadequate following an inspection in January. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

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.

Polkyth Surgery, which provides medical services to more than 8,000 patients, has been going through significant change following change of ownership in September 2014.

At the time CQC found that patients had difficulty in obtaining an appointment because there were not enough GPs.  Health checks and reviews for patients with long term conditions and other clinics had fallen behind.

Since then three other practices have formed a consortium to manage the surgery and support its improvement.

During the inspection in January, CQC found that  the surgery was providing a caring service, but required improvement in all other areas. Some patients reported that they did not always see the same GP so did not experience continuity of care. Others reported difficulty in obtaining an appointment.

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

  • The provider must identify and monitor the training needs of staff to ensure their training is updated and they are aware of practice policy in key areas of health provision
  • The quality of the service must be monitored to identify and manage risks to patients with clinical audits, including a system to investigate incidents and disseminate any learning to staff.
  • There must be a system to formally review patients’ medicines before prescriptions are given to them. Prescription pads must be kept secure and GPs must sign all prescriptions before they are given to patients.
  • Nursing staff must receive up to date training in vaccinating adults and children.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“We know that Polkyth Surgery has been going through a period of upheaval since the previous partnership dissolved, and that a lot of people have been working hard to keep the practice going.

“It is important that the people who are registered with Polkyth Surgery can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP practice. We have found significant areas of concern, which is why we are placing the practice into special measures - so opening the way to a package of support from NHS England.

“We will continue to monitor this practice and we will inspect again at a later date to check that improvements have been made. I am hopeful that the new consortium will help the practice succeed but if we find that the service remains inadequate, we will consider taking further steps."


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 Polkyth Surgery.

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.