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CQC rates North Shields Health Centre as Inadequate

16 July 2015
Spring Terrace Health Centre
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has rated a North Shields GP practice as Inadequate and placed the practice into Special Measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

A specialist team of inspectors rated the service provided by Spring Terrace Health Centre as Inadequate for providing services that were safe, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well-led, and Requires Improvement for providing services that were caring. 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 March 2015 by an inspection team which included a GP specialist advisor and a specialist with a practice management background. A full report of this inspection has been published on this 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 obtaining appointments and the practice had received a high number of complaints mostly relating to the appointment system.

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 health and safety risk assessments in place and staff had not received fire safety training. Although staff understood their responsibility to report incidents, risks and near misses they did not receive any feedback as to actions taken as a result of incidents being reported.

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

  • The practice must ensure systems and processes are established and operated effectively in order to assess, monitor and improve the quality of service provided in carrying out the regulated activities.
  • The practice must ensure risks are effectively assessed, monitored and mitigated in relation to the health, safety and welfare of patients receiving care and treatment in relation to patients being able to obtain a consultation with a healthcare professional.
  • The practice must ensure records which are necessary to be kept in relation to staff and management of the regulated activities are maintained.
  • The practice must ensure they have a formal system for clinical audit which improves quality.
  • The practice must ensure staff receive appropriate training in order to carry out the duties they perform.

CQC is working closely with NHS North Tyneside 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 Spring Terrace Health Centre can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP.

“Although some 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 Spring Terrace Health 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 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.