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Vocare (Somerset Doctors) remain in special measures

16 November 2017
Wellington House
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission has told Vocare, known locally as Somerset Doctors Urgent Care (part of the Vocare Group) that it must make further improvements to its NHS 111 service and its GP Out of Hours service following a recent re-inspection of its services. The GP Out of Hours service was placed into special measures in April 2017.

CQC carried out this announced follow up inspection of Vocare’s service at Wellington House on 24 August 2017.

This inspection was to follow up progress against two Warning Notices which had been previously issued. As such the initial rating of Inadequate and the service remains in special measures.

Full reports of both inspections will be available on our website.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“NHS 111 services are a vital part of the urgent care system which takes pressure away from Accident and Emergency and GP services by allowing people to have easy access to healthcare and advice.

“I am disappointed to see that Vocare are still not demonstrating that it can provide the service that patients need and we have issued a further four warning notices to ensure significant improvements are taking place and will continue to monitor the services.

“Services need to demonstrate that they are ensuring people with the most urgent needs are prioritised at times of high demand, and to ensure that care and advice is delivered safely and effectively, and they are referred to the right service as quickly as possible when necessary.

“We are aware that there have been many changes within the operational structure of Vocare and did see aspects of good care during our inspection provided by committed staff who treated patients courteously and with dignity and respect,

“The leadership of Vocare have provided assurances to us that it now has oversight of the issues and are making the improvements necessary. We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders including Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group to monitor and inspect the service to ensure that improvements are put in place."

In the NHS111 service CQC has told Vocare that it must make a number of improvements including ensuring:

  • all patients are treated with dignity and respect.
  • care and treatment is provided in a safe way to patients.
  • effective systems and processes are established to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care.
  • sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced persons are deployed to meet the fundamental standards of care and treatment.
  • serious incidents, deaths or safeguarding referrals are subject to statutory notifications to the Care Quality Commission.


For further information, please contact John Scott, Regional Engagement Manager on 077898 75809.

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Last updated:
16 November 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 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.