This site is intended for health professionals only

Peterborough out-of-hours put in special measures


4 February 2016

Share this story:

A Peterborough out-of-hours service has been placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), due to ineffective systems and “no clear vision for improvement.”

A Peterborough out-of-hours service has been placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), due to ineffective systems and “no clear vision for improvement.”

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s (CSS) service at City Care Centre provides urgent medical care outside of GP hours to a population of 188,000 people. The provider employs GPs, nurses, healthcare assistants and support staff based at the City Care Centre in Peterborough.

The service used nurses to triage patients by telephone before referring patients to a GP, advanced nurse practitioner or emergency care practitioner, however response times for call backs varied and there was no evidence that nurses had been properly trained to deal with these calls. 

Dr Neil Modha, chief clinical officer, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said: “The CCG has worked closely with CCS since the inspection to ensure implementation of their recovery plan and we have been pleased with the progress and improvements in areas where quality of care were of concern. 

“We will continue to monitor this progress so we can be assured that patients are receiving the high standard of out-of-hours care that we expect.”

The CQC found that staff files and recruitment procedures were not documented or governed thoroughly and staff were not always recruited in accordance with the trust policy and various information was either incomplete or missing.

Inspectors were concerned that patients did not always receive effective and timely care and treatment. Even though the service was not always meeting national requirements, there was no clear vision for improvement.

Janet Williamson, deputy chief inspector of general practice in CQC’s Central region (pictured) said patients are at risk, all staff who triage patients must be adequately trained to make clinical decisions by telephone and have been assessed, and the wait time for call backs must be monitored.

“Clear arrangements must be put in place to ensure that managers have effective oversight of the performance of the out-of-hours service at all times so that they can take appropriate action to minimise the risks to patients.

CQC shared its concerns with key stakeholders including Trust Development Authority, NHS England and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG and the trust submitted an action plan which seeks to address the issues raised by the inspection team.

See the full report here

Want news like this straight to your inbox?

Related news


Care staff
Managers expected to cover staff shortages caused by mandatory vaccines
Care home managers and service providers are expected to cover employee shortfalls caused by mandatory...
New RCGP president to lead from November
Professor Dame Clare Gerada will take over as the new president of the Royal College...