One of the first GP practices to be placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission is to close, HSJ has learned.

  • Liverpool practice is the first put in special measures to be closed
  • Practice lead resigns contract
  • Interim provider will look after services until new practice is in place 

Dharmana’s Family and General Practice, based in the Walton area of Liverpool, was placed into the regulatory regime in January after the regulator rated it “inadequate”.

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed the practice is to close and that it had accepted the resignation of practice leader Srinivas Dharmana.

The CCG said GP services would not be provided from the practice’s premises in the future.

Under the CQC’s rules, if a GP practice is still found to be providing inadequate care after six months of being in special measures, it will have its CQC registration cancelled and face having its contract terminated by NHS England.

HSJ understands that the regulator carried out a follow-up inspection. The CQC has yet to publish re-inspection reports on the practice or Norris Road Surgery in Greater Manchester, another practice placed in special measures in January.

Dr Dharmana’s services will be managed by another local practice on an interim basis from January until a new substantive provider is created to take on the care of the practice’s current patients.

A procurement process will begin next year to find a new provider, the CCG said.

A Liverpool CCG spokeswoman said: “[We] can confirm that Dr Dharmana has recently notified the CCG that he wishes to resign his contract. The CCG has formally accepted his resignation and has confirmed with him and the CQC that his contract will terminate on 31 December 2015.

“The current practice premises are privately owned and it will not be possible to offer GP services from there in the future.

“Liverpool CCG is committed to making sure that people have access to GP services, and we are planning to open another practice locally.

“Patients who are currently registered with Dr Dharmana will be transferred to this practice, or they can choose to move to another local practice, in line with CCG policy.

“This new practice will be managed by another Liverpool CCG member practice on an interim basis from 1 January 2016, to allow for a full procurement to be carried out.

“We will be writing to patients to inform them of the changes, and let them know what their options are.”

Last month the Priory Avenue Surgery in Reading, which entered special measures alongside Dr Dharmana’s practice, became the first to be taken out of the regime after being taken over by Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.