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CQC places Westborough Road Health Centre in Westcliff on Sea into Special Measures

4 February 2016
Dr Sankar Bhattacharjee
  • Media

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

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care at Westborough Road Health Centre, in Westcliff on Sea, Essex, to be Inadequate following an inspection carried out in September 2015. A full report of the inspection has been published on this website.

Westborough Road Health Centre provides primary medical services to approximately 3,720 patients in Westcliff on Sea, Essex. The practice serves a wide patient population with a high percentage of young people and those of working age.

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 the practice was inadequate for providing safe services that were well led, safe, responsive and effective. It was rated Requires Improvement for being caring.

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

  • The practice must ensure there are formal governance arrangements in place including systems for assessing and monitoring risks and the quality of the service provision.
  • The complaints policy is reflective of practice, affording patients access to advocacy services and right of appeal against decisions.
  • The practice must ensure staff receive appropriate support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisal as necessary to carry out their duties.
  • All recruitment checks must be conducted and evidenced appropriately.
  • The management of medicines must always be carried out safely.

CQC is working closely with Southend CCG 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 Westborough Road Health Centre 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 kindness, dignity and respect, we also found that care and treatment was not always delivered in line with best practice. The lead GP was highly committed to the patients, visible and approachable to staff but did not have sufficient capacity to run the practice and ensure high quality care.

“We know that Westborough Road Health 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 for the practice to receive 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 about Westborough Road Health Centre.

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.