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CQC rates Northfield Surgery as Inadequate

4 June 2015
Northfield Surgery
  • Media

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

A specialist team of inspectors rated the service provided by Northfield Surgery as Inadequate for providing services that were safe, effective and well led, and Requires Improvement for providing services that were caring and responsive to people’s needs. 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 a team of three CQC inspectors and a GP specialist advisor. A full report of this inspection has been published on the CQC website today.

Inspectors found a lack of effective systems in place to monitor the safe running of the practice and systems to record incidents or significant events were not robust.

Data showed that patient outcomes were below average for the locality and inspectors found that staff knowledge of and reference to national guidelines was inconsistent.

While there were some completed clinical audits, there was little evidence that findings from these checks had been used to drive improvement in performance or improve patient outcomes.

The majority of patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect. However, not all felt cared for, supported and listened to. In addition, while patients said they could usually get an urgent appointment, some patients reported difficulty in getting through to the practice to make an appointment.

The practice did not have a clear leadership structure and staff did not meet as a whole group. Staff feedback was not proactively sought some staff told inspectors they felt the practice lacked leadership and direction.

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

  • The practice must ensure that there is an effective system for reporting and recording significant events and use audits of practice to drive performance and improve outcomes for patients.
  • The practice must implement a business continuity plan to deal with emergencies or major incidents which may impact on the daily operation of the practice.
  • The practice must ensure all staff complete mandatory training and have access to appropriate policies and guidance to carry out their roles in a safe and effective manner.
  • The practice must establish lead roles and clarify the leadership structure to ensure there is leadership capacity to deliver all improvements.
  • The practice must make sure fire evacuation drills are performed and recorded effectively, to ensure the safety of the patients in the event of an emergency.

CQC is working closely with Doncaster 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 Northfield Surgery can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP.

“The majority of patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect. However, people attending this practice are being exposed to potentially unsafe methods of care, for example lack of assessing and monitoring risks.

“The areas of concern that have been identified in the report will need to be addressed and immediate action taken so that people get safe, high-quality and compassionate 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.

“With the right support, I expect this practice to be transformed. 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 Northfield 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)

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.