• Borders of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey have the majority of worst CQC rated GP surgeries
  • Almost a third of surgeries in South Reading require improvement or rated inadequate
  • South East England an enclave for GP surgeries rated outstanding

East Berkshire and bordering areas in Hampshire and Surrey have the majority of worst rated GP surgeries in the South, exclusive HSJ analysis has shown.

We have reviewed all CQC GP inspection reports published by 1 March this year, to reveal the number of GP surgeries in each CCG area that received a rating of inadequate, requires improvement, good or outstanding.

South Reading Clinical Commissioning Group had the most surgeries rated requires improvement or inadequate, with 32 per cent of these providers receiving a poor rating. Nearby North West Surrey; Slough; Chiltern, Windsor and Ascot; and Maidenhead CCGs, which border each other, also figured in the 10 CCGs with the poorest rated GP surgeries (see table below).

Bu Thava, clinical chair of South Reading CCG, said: “South Reading CCG works with practices which are rated as needing improvement or inadequate to develop and agree an action plan to address the concerns raised in CQC reports. The CCG closely monitors the practices to ensure they are making progress with the action plan and delivering improvements for patients, ahead of re-inspection by the CQC.”

Two CCGs on the Kent coast also featured in this list, with Swale coming in second worst with 31 per cent of surgeries receiving a low CQC rating.

In contrast, the south west of England is performing well for the quality of GP surgeries (see second table). North, East, West Devon CCG and neighbouring South Devon and Torby, as well as Kernow, all feature in the top 10 areas with the most surgeries rated outstanding.

Ashford in Kent had 29 per cent of its surgeries rated outstanding but the CQC had only published ratings for seven out of its 16 GP practices by the start of March.

Overall, HSJ analysed 6,476 GP ratings across England out of a total of 7,705 inspected by the CQC, which accounts for 84 per cent of all surgeries. The regulator is yet to publish the remainder of its GP inspection reports. It is the first time GP practices have been comprehensively inspected and rated. 

Top 10 CCGs in the South with the highest percentage of GP surgeries rated requires improvement or inadequate

CCG% of GP surgeries rated inadequate or requires improvement
South Reading 31.6
Swale 30.8
North West Surrey 29.4
Slough 28.6
North Hampshire 26.3
Chiltern 23.5
East Surrey 21.4
Fareham and Gosport 21.1
Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead 18.8
South Kent Coast 18.5

Top 10 CCGs in the South with the highest percentage of GP surgeries rated outstanding

CCG% of GP surgeries rated outstanding
Ashford 28.6
North, East, West Devon 14.8
Surrey Heath 14.3
South Devon and Torbay 13.9
Wiltshire 13.7
Guildford and Waverley 13.6
Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford 11.1
Kernow 9.2
South Gloucestershire 7.7
Slough 7.1