This site is intended for health professionals only

Practice placed in CQC special measures to close after struggling to improve within six months

A branch of a GP practice is set to close, conceding that it does not have enough time to turn things around after the CQC placed it immediately in ‘special measures’.

Rowlands Gill Medical Centre in Gateshead – which includes two practices on different sites – is to close its branch at High Spen, after claiming six months isn’t enough time to renovate its premises, as highlighted by the CQC.

Practices found to be inadequate by the CQC will immediately be put into special measures and are given a six months to turn things around, but if the practice is still providing inadequate care, the CQC will make moves to cancel its registration with the regulator.

According to the local newspaper Chronicle Live, the practice has needed to improve its premises for ‘several years’.

The regulator had also discovered a myriad of other problems at the practice including gaps in the management of training and appraisal for staff, patients reporting difficulties in getting through on the phone to book an appointment – but they did say they were treated with compassion and dignity.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Dr Neil Morris, medical director for the NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, said: ‘We understand that the practice has reluctantly decided to close the High Spen branch surgery in view of concerns about the quality of accommodation available on the site.’

Dr Rob Dawson, Rowlands Gill Medical Centre, said: ‘Over more than two decades we have been committed to providing the best possible care for local people, and that has not changed. We are aware of the issues raised by the CQC and were already working on solutions for the majority of them. The practice will continue to work with NHS England and Gateshead CCG to ensure we meet the inspectors’ requirements.

‘It is with great regret that we have taken the decision in light of the CQC’s advice to close the branch surgery at High Spen on Tuesday 12 May. This follows their concerns about safety of the premises and the limited range of primary care facilities at the branch.’

This comes after a GP lost his case against the CQC to re-open his practice following the regulator’s decision to deny him registration.

This article was updated on 1/5/15 at 14:50.