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North West London GP practice rated as Inadequate

3 December 2015
The Clarence Medical Centre
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Clarence Medical Centre in Brent, North West London, as Inadequate and has placed the provider into special measures following an inspection in September 2015.

Placement into special measures means that the provider must now make necessary improvements or face action that could result in closure.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all primary medical services in England are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

The full report from the Clarence Medical Centre inspection has been published on this website.

Clarence Medical Centre provides primary medical services to around 1,200 patients within the Kilburn area of Brent, including a high proportion of families with children aged under 16 years that are classified as living in poverty.

CQC inspectors found that the practice did not have suitable arrangements in place to ensure medicines were administered safely.  A number of concerns were identified including over prescribing of antibiotics in comparison to other local practices, failure to carry out checks required to protect patients from the dangers associated with high risk medication, and a lack of awareness of local antibiotic prescribing guidelines.

Although inspectors observed that practice premises were clean and tidy, there were no cleaning records or schedules available.  Although an infection control policy was in place, it had not been reviewed since July 2013, and an infection control audit had not been completed since January 2014.

However, patients told CQC inspectors that staff responded compassionately when they needed help and provided support when required.  Patients said they felt the practice offered a good service and that staff were helpful, caring and treated them with dignity and respect.

Ursula Gallagher, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice:

"When we are faced with a provider that is experiencing difficulties in providing adequate care for patients, our first instinct is to work with them to ensure that patient care improves.

“We are confident that the Clarence Medical Centre will take any necessary action to address the concerns we identified during our most recent inspection.

“In particular, the provider must ensure that all medicines are administered and prescribed safely, and that all GPs understand antibiotic prescribing guidelines.

“The practice infection control policy must be up to date and full infection control audits must be completed regularly.

“We will re-inspect within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If sufficient improvements have not been made and there remains a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take further action which may include closure.”


For further information please contact Yetunde Akintewe, CQC Regional Engagement Manager, on 07471 020 659. For media enquiries, journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report about Clarence Medical Centre.

Patients registered with practices which are 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. This does not mean that these practices will close.

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.