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CQC rate Bristol GP practice as Inadequate

12 June 2015
Dr Tom Frewin
  • Media

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

A specialist team of inspectors has given Dr Tom Frewin's practice in Clifton 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.

The practice was inspected in April by a team which included two CQC inspectors, and a GP and a practice nurse acting as specialist advisors. A full report of this inspection has been published on the CQC website today.

Overall the practice was found to be inadequate in its services for all population groups. While patients said they were treated with kindness and respect, inspectors found that people were at risk because systems and processes were not in place to keep them safe.

The practice did not employ a permanent practice nurse, so there was an inconsistent approach to providing care and support to patients with long term health conditions. There were no completed audits of patient treatment outcomes.

When medication and health checks were carried out, patients’ records and test results were not processed and reviewed in a timely way.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

“While patients we met spoke well of the care they received, we have found significant areas of concern, such as the lack of infection control audit and process, poor medicine management, inconsistent maintenance of equipment and too little attempts to monitor safety and respond to risk.

"We found that the care of people was managed reactively. Little attempt had been made to respond to older people’s needs and for those with long term conditions, not enough was being done to check that their needs were being met.

"We do not believe that the practice is likely to resolve its challenges without external support, which is why we have placed it in special measures. The practice has been working with the NHS England area team to ensure they take immediate action, enabling them to fulfil their basic functions safely.

"After a period of six months we will inspect again to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the service provided by this practice remains inadequate, we will consider further enforcement action."

Linda Prosser, Director of Commissioning, NHS England South (South West), said:

“We’d like to reassure patients that we are working closely with the practice to ensure that corrective action is being made to address the concerns raised. There is clearly lots to do but we are encouraged by the proactivity of the GP surgery.

“We’re involved with helpful discussions with a local practice who will be able to provide high quality support and advice as well as assisting with implementing the CQC action plan so that we will have sustainable GP care in Clifton Village.”


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 Dr Tom Frewin.

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 display of 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.