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CQC places Seaforth Village Surgery into Special Measures

19 March 2015
Seaforth Village Surgery
  • Media

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

A specialist team of inspectors has rated the service provided by Seaforth Village Surgery in Bootle, Liverpool as Inadequate for being safe and well-led, and required improvement to be caring, effective and responsive.

The practice has been given an overall rating of Inadequate.

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections, led by Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, all of England’s GP practices are being inspected and given a rating.

Seaforth Village Surgery was inspected in November by a CQC team which included a specialist inspector, a GP advisor, and a practice manager. A full report of this inspection has been published on this website today.

Inspectors found that the practice was not always responsive to patients’ needs and noted a lack of awareness of the differing needs of the local population.

Although patients said they could usually get an urgent appointment, some reported considerable difficulty in accessing a named GP and raised concerns that the high use of locum GPs meant they did not receive continuity of care.

Safety incidents including patient complaints were not always reported or investigated, and some staff said they were reluctant to raise issues as they were not confident that effective action would be taken as a result.

The practice had a recruitment policy in place, however not all staff had completed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before starting work. In addition records showed that some staff had not received up to date training in key areas such as fire safety, infection control and safeguarding.

The Care Quality Commission has identified a number of areas for improvement, including:

  • The practice must take action to ensure that all staff are properly trained, supervised and supported at all times.
  • Arrangements for staff must be improved to ensure they are able to deliver care and treatment to patients safely and to an appropriate standard.
  • The practice must have an effective system in place for identifying, assessing and managing risks, and for reporting, analysing and learning from significant events.
  • The practice must ensure that the necessary employment checks are in place for all staff and this must include a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for all staff with chaperoning responsibilities.
  • The practice should review the use of locum GPs to ensure patients receive consistency and continuity of care when attending appointments.

CQC has been working closely with NHS England and South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group to support the practice while it addresses the issues identified by the inspection.

Patients registered with practices being 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. These practices will not close.

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the North, said:

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

“Patients were positive about the care they received and said they were treated with compassion and dignity. However, patients were concerned that the high reliance on locum GPs meant they did not receive continuity of care.

“The failure to undertake full employment checks and to routinely monitor quality will need to be addressed and immediate action taken so that people have access to safe, high-quality primary care.

“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 among others.

“We will continue to monitor this practice and we will inspect again in six months to check whether sufficient 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 steps to cancel its registration.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Manager Kirstin Hannaford on 0191 233 3629. Alternatively, the CQC press office can be contacted on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07789 876508.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report about Seaforth Village 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)

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.