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West London GP practice rated as Inadequate and remains in special measures

7 January 2016
Somerset Medical centre
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Somerset Medical Centre in Ealing, West London, as Inadequate following an inspection during October 2015.

The Somerset Medical Centre will now remain in special measures for a further period of six months. The provider was previously placed into special measures following an inspection during July 2015 when serious concerns about patient safety were identified and enforcement action taken to suspend the provider registration for three months. Although significant improvements have been identified and the suspension lifted, the provider must now make further 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 Somerset Medical Centre inspection has been published on this website.

Somerset Medical Centre provides primary medical services to around 2,200 patients within the Southall area of Ealing, including a high proportion of people with refugee status.

CQC inspectors found that the practice had insufficient leadership capacity and limited formal governance arrangements. Practice management had poor oversight and understanding of all the systems in place to deliver high standards of care to patients and inadequate knowledge of the day to day running of the practice.

Although incident reporting procedures had been reviewed, practice staff were still unfamiliar with the form used for incident reporting and showed a lack of understanding regarding appropriate learning from significant events in order to improve patient safety.

National patient survey data showed that the practice scored below average for a number of aspects of care although some patients did make positive comments about the care they received. Feedback from patients reported that access to a preferred GP and continuity of care was not always available quickly, although urgent appointments were usually available the same day. The practice was also rated below average for access to appointments and satisfaction with opening hours.

However, the practice had implemented suggestions for improvements and made changes to the way it delivered some services in response to feedback from the patient participation group (PPG), and the practice complaints procedure was accessible and easy to understand.

Inspectors observed that practice premises were clean and tidy and that cleaning schedules and records were in place and kept up to date. The practice had completed an infection control audit and points for action had been implemented, including increased amounts of hand sanitising gel being made available. The infection control policy and supporting procedures were available for staff to refer to, which enabled them to plan and implement measures to control infection and build upon training received.

Michele Golden, Head of General Practice Inspection for London said:

"When we are faced with a provider that continues to experience difficulties in providing adequate care for patients, our first instinct remains to work with them and offer the appropriate support in order to ensure that patient care improves.

“We are confident that the Somerset Medical Centre is committed to taking the necessary action to address the concerns we identified during our most recent inspection.

“In particular, the provider must ensure that robust incident reporting and safeguarding procedures are in place, that appropriate action is taken and that regular opportunities to share learning are optimised so that all staff fully understand these procedures.

“Practice management must have full oversight and in depth understanding of the day to day running of the practice and the systems in place to enable appropriate standards of care to be provided for patients.

“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 the Somerset 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 display of 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.