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Gateshead GP practice to exit special measures following significant improvements for patients

3 December 2015
Dr Syed Masroor Imam
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has taken a Gateshead GP practice out of special measures following improvements in the quality of its services.

Dr Syed Masroor Imam’s practice on Jackson Street in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear was rated Inadequate under the Care Quality Commission's new approach to the inspection of GP practices following an inspection in January 2015, and was put into special measures.

When CQC inspected Dr Syed Masroor’s practice in January 2015, inspectors identified seven areas for improvement. The practice was rated Inadequate for being safe, effective and well-led and Requires Improvement for being caring and responsive.

In the latest inspection in September, a specialist team of inspectors found that the practice had improved in all five key areas. The overall rating for the practice has moved from Inadequate to Good. The practice was rated as Good for providing services that were safe, effective, caring and responsive, and Requires Improvement for providing services that are well led.

Inspectors rated the practice Good for providing services to older people, people with long term conditions, families, children and young people, people of working age and people experiencing poor mental health. The practice was rated as Requires Improvement for providing service to people whose circumstances make them vulnerable.

A copy of the report from this latest inspection has been published on the CQC website today.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

"It is clear that Dr Syed Masroor Imam has made improvements since our original inspection when we had serious concerns relating to the safe delivery of services and the leadership of the practice.

"With the support of NHS England and Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group, the practice has been able to make improvements, and is now providing an accessible, safe and clinically effective service.

“There are some further improvements the practice needs to make to strengthen leadership and ensure the changes they have made are sustained in the long term and the practice must continue the work already underway with regard to these issues.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr Syed Masroor Imam’s practice will come out of special measures and I congratulate him and his staff on the progress that they have made so far.

“We will return in due course to follow up on the remaining areas where improvements are required.”

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice for the North of England, said:

“When we inspected the practice in September 2015 we found improvements had been made in all areas. There was an open and transparent approach to reporting significant events and the practice had developed a strong learning culture.

“Action had been taken to address gaps in staff training and ensure that staff were supported by regular appraisals.

“The practice had made improvements in order to better manage the risks associated with infection control and safe medicines management, and the previous shortfalls in recruitment processes had been addressed.

“Progress had also been made to strengthen governance arrangements, however further work is needed in this area to fully embed the changes and make better use of patient feedback to drive continued improvements”

Inspectors found that staff understood their responsibilities to raise concerns and to report incidents and near misses, and systems were in place to ensure incidents were recorded and investigated.

Patients’ needs were assessed and care was planned and delivered following best practice guidelines. Patients spoke positively about the practice and told inspectors that staff were helpful and treated them with dignity and respect.

Staff had received appropriate training and further training needs had been identified and planned for.

The practice had taken steps to address governance arrangements and the practice manager demonstrated a desire to lead, learn and continually improve. Staff felt supported by management and worked well as a team.

The practice was part of a recently introduced extended access scheme, which made it easier for patients to see a GP in the evening or at weekends.

The inspection also identified some areas for improvement, including:

  • The practice should review and formalise the arrangements in place for staffing in the reception area to ensure they can meet the needs of patients at all times.
  • The practice should ensure the arrangements in place for seeing and treating homeless patients reflect the latest guidance.
  • The practice must ensure the sustainability of the practice in the longer term through the development and delivery of business plans and plans for improvement.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report about Dr Syed Masroor Imam.

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections led by Prof Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, all of England’s GP practices are being inspected and given a rating.

Since January 2015, any GP practice that is found to be Inadequate on inspection will automatically be placed into special measures, opening the way to a package of support from NHS England. Within six months, CQC will carry out another comprehensive inspection. If the overall rating remains Inadequate, CQC will begin proceedings to cancel its registration, subject to the usual representations process.

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.