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Medway GP practice to exit special measures and rated Good by Care Quality Commission

2 December 2016
Dr Stephen Lawrence
  • Media

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

Dr Stephen Lawrence, also known as St Mary’s Island Surgery in Chatham, Kent had been rated Inadequate during an inspection in December 2015, when the practice was placed into special measures.

During the latest inspection in September 2016, 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 being safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to people’s needs.

After the inspection in December 2015, the practice put an action plan in place to make sustainable improvements to the areas of concern which CQC had outlined, and to make sure that regulations were met.

Following our recent inspection, inspectors found vaccines, equipment and infection controls were being well managed and blank prescription forms were kept securely.

Patients who were unable to book an appointment with a named GP, were able to book an appointment with another GP or receive a telephone consultation, and the practice was continuing to improve patient access.

Management were ensuring  that staff felt supported, training records were up to date and appropriate recruitment checks had been undertaken prior to employment.

Information about services and how to make complaints were available and easy to understand. The practice had demonstrated that improvements had been made as a result of complaints and concerns received.

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

"It is clear that Dr Stephen Lawrence has made some real improvements since our previous inspection, in December 2015, where we identified serious concerns relating to the safe delivery of services and leadership of the practice.

"The practice is now providing a safe, caring and effective service. I am pleased to announce that the  practice will come out of special measures and I congratulate them on the progress that they have made.”

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice for the South of England, said:

“During our recent inspection in September 2016, we found improvements had been made in all areas and that action had been taken to identify, assess and manage risks to patients.

“We are pleased to see that the hard work and strong commitment from all practice staff to deliver improved services has resulted in higher standards of care for their patients.  The practice should be very proud of this achievement.”

Sarah MacDonald, Director of Commissioning in NHS England’s South East team, said:

“We want all patients to benefit from good quality GP services and these inspections are about helping GP practices to identify where any improvements are needed, so that they can deliver the best possible service to their patients.”

“I am pleased that the commitment and hard work of the staff at St Mary’s Island Surgery, to make improvements for their patients, has been recognised.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Farrah Chandra on 07917 594 574 or, for media enquiries, 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

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).

Providers are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.