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

7 February 2017
Victoria Park Medical Centre
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

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

Victoria Park Medical Centre, previously known as Doctor Lewis, Hawkes and Dicks in Bridgwater, Somerset, had been rated Inadequate during an inspection in February 2016, when the practice was placed into special measures.

During the latest inspection in November 2016, a specialist team of inspectors found that the practice had made a significant number of improvements and the practice is now rated Good overall. The practice was rated as Good for being safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to people’s needs.

The full report of the inspection has been published.

After the inspection in February 2016, the practice put an action plan in place to make sustainable improvements to the areas of concern CQC had outlined.

When inspectors returned in November they found effective systems were in place to keep patients safe and manage risks.

The practice’s management ensured staff felt supported and staff were trained to ensure they had the right skills, knowledge, and experience to deliver good care and treatment. Inspectors found that patients were involved in decisions about their care and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

The practice provided facilities to support people to be involved in decisions about their care and to meet people’s needs. This included facilities for disabled patients, a hearing loop and translation services.

The practice was continuing to improve patient access to care. Patients were able to book an appointment with a named GP, routine and urgent appointments and same day appointments were available and the telephone system had improved.

Information about services and how to make complaints were available and easy to understand. The practice had improved their complaint procedures and demonstrated openness and transparency, where lessons were learnt, appropriate action had been taken and demonstrated that improvements had been made.

Complaint investigations showed openness and transparency. Lessons were learnt from individual concerns and complaints and from analysis of trends and action was taken to as a result to improve the quality of care

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

"It is clear that Victoria Park Medical Centre has made some real improvements since our previous inspection 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 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.”

Linda Prosser, Director of Assurance and Delivery, NHS England South West, said:

“This is quite a significant turnaround for the practice and is testament to the hard work that the staff have made towards making improvements. We are committed to providing people with GP services and are reassured that the practice will be delivering these services at a higher standard.”


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

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.

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 and out-of-hours service, 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.