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CQC rates Gateshead GP practice as Inadequate (Rowlands Gill Medical Centre)

23 April 2015
Rowlands Gill Medical Centre
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has rated a Gateshead GP as Inadequate following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

A specialist team of inspectors rated the service provided by Rowlands Gill Medical Centre as Inadequate for providing services that were safe, responsive to people’s needs and well-led, and Requires Improvement for providing services that were caring and effective. 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.

The practice was inspected in January 2015 by an inspection team which included a GP specialist advisor, a specialist with a practice management background and a CQC pharmacist. A full report of this inspection has been published on the CQC website today

Although inspectors received some positive comments from patients during the inspection who said that they were treated with dignity and respect by staff, inspectors also identified a number of significant concerns.

Patients reported difficulty in getting through to the practice on the telephone to make an appointment and the national GP survey data showed that the percentage patients reporting a good overall experience of making appointment was 52 per cent, compared to a national average of 78 per cent.

Inspectors found a lack of effective systems in place to monitor the safe running of the practice. Systems were not robust and a limited number of clinical audits were being undertaken to improve patient outcomes.

There were no fire or health and safety risk assessments in place and actions identified as a result of a recent legionella risk assessment had not been implemented.

Additional concerns were identified in relation to recruitment procedures at the practice as appropriate checks on staff had not been undertaken prior to their employment.

The branch surgery premises at High Spen had been in need of renovation for several years yet the practice had failed to take any action to address this.

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

  • The practice must ensure systems and process are in place to improve and monitor quality, effectiveness and safety, including access to the service.
  • The practice must ensure appropriate infection control systems are in place.
  • The practice must ensure the premises are safe and suitable for all patients to access.
  • The practice must ensure they have a system for identifying, receiving, handling and responding to complaints and provide support to patients to make a complaint.
  • The practice must ensure recruitment arrangements include all necessary employment checks for all staff.

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

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

 “It is important that the people who are registered with Rowlands Gill Medical Practice can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP. 

“Although patients were positive about the care they received and said they were treated with compassion and dignity, our inspectors also found some significant concerns.

 “The failure to assess risk or effectively monitor quality that have been identified in the report need to be addressed and immediate action taken so that people get safe, high-quality primary care.

“I do not believe that the practice is likely to resolve its challenges without external support. This is why we are placing the practice into special measures. 

“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 taking steps to cancel its registration with CQC.”

Patients registered with the 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.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Mark Humphreys on 0191 233 3519.

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 Rowlands Gill Medical Centre.

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.