How GP Surgeries Are Rated Across England

Date:
21/06/2022

There has been a lot of discussion both on social media and in the press about how GPs are performing, particularly after the very challenging times the healthcare sector in particular experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, in which day-to-day services were immensely impacted.

Of course, patient experiences will differ, and we all have unique expectations of what sort of service our local NHS medical centres should be providing us. However, we wanted to see if there was any correlation between how the general public rate their GP surgery, and how official bodies – the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – rate the services that are being provided to patients.

We also wanted to see if there were any area-specific trends that indicate a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to the provision of local healthcare.

To find out, we looked at the latest CQC inspection reports and Google reviews of over 850 different GP practices in 21 major UK towns and cities. This is what we found.

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Overall, there is a disconnect between patient reviews and official ratings

Nearly all GP surgeries that we analysed in England (96%) have been rated either ‘Good’ (91%) or ‘Outstanding (5%) by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

However, online reviews left by patients on Google are telling us a different story with the average score coming out at just 2.81 out of five – which may be considered only ‘satisfactory’ or ‘OK’.

According to the CQC figures, just 2% of the general practices we looked into were deemed to ‘Require Improvement’ during their last inspection, and fewer still – just 1% - received an overall ‘Inadequate’ service report rating.

In comparison, five times as many (15%) had a poor online patient review score of 2/5 or less, and just 11% of the practices had an average Google review score of 4/5 (or higher).

Essentially, the CQC has determined that nine in ten GP practices are performing well, but the public reviews indicate that that nine in ten GP practices (89%) are not offering a service of a standard that patients would consider to be particularly good.

Overall CQC Report Rating

%

Inadequate

7

1%

Requires improvement

21

2%

Good

785

91%

Outstanding

47

5%

 

Total Google Reviews

Average Rating

Total number of GP surgeries analysed (CQC and Google Reviews)

39532

2.81

860

The figures do vary by location

If we drill down into the data more, there is a little bit of consistency between the Google review and CQC figures in some places - but not all.

For example, in the last CQC inspections of surgeries in Exeter, 35% earned an overall ‘Outstanding’ level – which was the highest of all the locations we looked into and was in line with patient reviews which were a higher-than-average 3.52/5 too. Exeter also doesn’t have a single practice with an overall CQC status below ‘Good’ at this time.

Patient reports suggest there is particular room for improvement in Peterborough, where GPs based there have received an average Google review rating of just 2.4/5 – which was the lowest of all the 21 towns and cities analysed.

No GPs in Peterborough were rated ‘Inadequate’ by the CQC though – when last inspected, two practices (11%) were considered to require some improvement overall, while three (16%) had been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating.

Joining Peterborough at the bottom of the table for online patient reviews was Birmingham (2.59/5), which also has the most GPs that were rated as ‘Inadequate’ overall by the Care Quality Commission (in the areas we looked at) – and a relatively high 6% were deemed to need some improvement.

There are also four surgeries here featured in our ‘worst 20’ according to average Google Reviews figures – you can see this list further down this article.

Hull had a low patient review score, but no GPs were reported to be offering a service below expected levels when they were last officially inspected by the CQC.

Average Ratings Per City (Google Reviews) and How this Compares to CQC Ratings

Table of the best and worst GPs

There are some trends in the ‘worst-rated’ list

While our research was only focused around 21 towns and cities in England (so this list isn’t reflective of the worst-rated across the whole of the UK) it is interesting to see some trends in places that appear several times.

For example, Leicester features six times on this list, Birmingham is featured four times, and there are two Manchester surgeries are on the list. 

Despite receiving the lowest overall patient review rating on Google, no specific Peterborough GPs made the worst rated list, however.

Twenty of the Worst-Rated GP Surgeries in the UK, according to Google Reviews

 

Surgery Name 

Third Line Address 

Postcode 

Number of Google Reviews 

Average Google Reviews Rating (out of 5) 

LAURIE PIKE HEALTH CENTRE

BIRMINGHAM

B6 6BB

245

1.3

HERON GP PRACTICE

LEICESTER

LE5 3GH

44

1.3

DUKE MEDICAL CENTRE

SHEFFIELD

S2 2TD

50

1.3

RAYDOCS NEWTOWN

BIRMINGHAM

B19 2ET

127

1.4

CONWAY MEDICAL CENTRE

LEEDS

LS8 5DE

24

1.4

KINGSWAY SURGERY

LEICESTER

LE3 2JN

110

1.4

PARKER DRIVE SURGERY

LEICESTER

LE4 0JF

81

1.4

COSSINGTON PARK SURGERY

LEICESTER

LE4 6AW

26

1.4

BOUSFIELD SURGERY - DR SHAH

LIVERPOOL

L4 4PP

14

1.4

10 

STANLEY MEDICAL CENTRE

LIVERPOOL

L5 2QA

31

1.4

11 

BILBOROUGH MEDICAL CENTRE

NOTTINGHAM

NG8 4PN

102

1.4

12 

MAYFLOWER MEDICAL GROUP

PLYMOUTH

PL5 1PL

74

1.4

13 

PAK HEALTH CENTRE

BIRMINGHAM

B8 1JA

45

1.5

14 

BELLEVUE MEDICAL CENTRE

BIRMINGHAM

B5 7LX

163

1.5

15 

MODALITY PARTNERSHIP (HULL)

HULL

HU5 2NT

24

1.5

16 

THURMASTON HEALTH CENTRE

LEICESTER

LE4 8EA

81

1.5

17 

THE WILLOWS MEDICAL CENTRE

LEICESTER

LE5 4LJ

100

1.5

18 

BIGHAM ROAD MEDICAL CENTRE

LIVERPOOL

L6 6DW

10

1.5

19 

DICKENSON ROAD MEDICAL CENTRE

MANCHESTER

M13 0WQ

70

1.5

20 

SEVEN BROOKS MEDICAL CTR.

MANCHESTER

M46 9DE

40

1.5

Please note, we did not include any practices with fewer than 10 Google Reviews in this list.

If we compare this against our list of the surgeries that the CQC rated as being ‘inadequate’ overall – which was just 7 of the 860 we looked in – we can see a couple of familiar practices such the Stanley Medical Centre in Liverpool and the Mayflower Medical Centre in Plymouth.

Both of these were inspected fairly recently (2021), potentially due to reports from patients that they were dissatisfied with the service they received. Since their inspections, these practices may have made several improvements.

GP Surgeries Rated Inadequate (Overall) in their Last CQC Inspections

Surgery Name 

City / Town 

Average Google Reviews Rating (out of 5) 

Last CQC Inspection Date 

STANLEY MEDICAL CENTRE 

LIVERPOOL 

1.4 

16/12/2021 

MAYFLOWER MEDICAL GROUP 

PLYMOUTH 

1.4 

06/12/2021 

SCHOOL HOUSE SURGERY (NOW CALLED ALLIED MEDICAL PRACTICE) 

BRIGHTON 

1.7 

05/05/2019 

LONDON STREET SURGERY 

READING 

2.1 

14/04/2022 

HALCYON MEDICAL 

BIRMINGHAM 

2.5 

05/04/2019 

AR-RAZI MEDICAL CENTRE 

LEICESTER

2.7

08/02/2022

GREAT BARR PRACTICE 

BIRMINGHAM 

3.7 

22/03/2022 

 

It’s a similar story with the top-rated surgeries too

We created a list for the top-rated GP surgeries on Google too, and it was the Astley General Practice in Manchester that took first place, despite the city’s local medical providers getting an overall low average score on Google reviews.

Birmingham was also featured four times - but again scored low on average overall with patients on Google - while Cambridge took three spots in the top 20, which is more in line with its high online review average. 

Twenty of the Best-Rated GP Surgeries in the UK, according to Google Reviews

 

Surgery Name 

City 

Postcode 

Number of Google Reviews 

Average Google Reviews Rating (out of 5) 

ASTLEY GENERAL PRACTICE 

MANCHESTER 

M29 7BY 

27 

THE BOAT HOUSE SURGERY 

READING 

RG8 7DP 

14 

4.8 

STONECROFT MEDICAL CENTRE 

SHEFFIELD 

S12 2LJ 

61 

4.7 

STONEGATE MEDICAL CLINIC 

YORK 

YO1 8AW 

27 

4.7 

GARRETTS GREEN LANE SURGERY 

BIRMINGHAM 

B26 2SB 

10 

4.6 

COTMORE SURGERY 

BIRMINGHAM 

B44 8TU 

16 

4.6 

OVER SURGERY 

CAMBRIDGE 

CB24 5NZ 

51 

4.6 

OAKFIELDS HEALTH GROUP 

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE 

NE17 7SB 

21 

4.6 

BAMPTON SURGERY 

OXFORD 

OX18 2LJ 

55 

4.6 

10 

CHEW MEDICAL PRACTICE 

BRISTOL 

BS40 8UE 

19 

4.5 

11 

HALL GREEN HEALTH 

BIRMINGHAM 

B28 8BG 

809 

4.5 

12 

WILLINGHAM MEDICAL PRACTICE 

CAMBRIDGE 

CB24 5LB 

21 

4.5 

13 

BURWELL SURGERY 

CAMBRIDGE 

CB25 0AE 

16 

4.5 

14 

BARNFIELD HILL SURGERY 

EXETER 

EX1 1SR 

14 

4.5 

15 

WOODSTOCK SURGERY 

OXFORD 

OX20 1UB 

13 

4.5 

16 

WELLINGTON ROAD SURGERY 

BRISTOL 

BS37 5UY 

21 

4.4 

17 

HOLLYWOOD MEDICAL CENTRE 

BIRMINGHAM 

B47 5DP 

13 

4.4 

18 

VAUXHALL HEALTH CENTRE 

LIVERPOOL 

L5 8XR 

26 

4.4 

19 

WEST HOE SURGERY 

PLYMOUTH 

PL1 3BS 

27 

4.4 

20 

GREYSTONES MEDICAL CENTRE 

SHEFFIELD 

S11 7BJ 

11 

4.4 

Please note, we did not include any practices with fewer than 10 Google Reviews in this list.

When we compared the list of top top-rated surgeries on Google with those that were awarded an ‘Outstanding’ status by the CQC, there was again some consistency between the results.

Several practices appeared on both lists – Astley General Practice and Ancoats Urban Village Medical Practice in Manchester, Granta Medical Practice in Cambridge, Woodbury Surgery in Exeter, and Stonegate Medical Practice in York.

GP Surgeries Rated Outstanding (Overall) in their Last CQC Inspections

Surgery Name 

City 

Number of Google Reviews 

Average Google Reviews Rating (out of 5) 

Last CQC Inspection Date 

HAXBY GROUP CALVERT & NEWINGTON

HULL

47

1.9

29/11/2018

ROBIN LANE HEALTH AND WELLBEING CENTRE

LEEDS

80

2.1

29/06/2016

HAXBY GROUP HULL

HULL

73

2.3

30/11/2018

PORTER BROOK MEDICAL CENTRE

SHEFFIELD

96

2.3

18/12/2019

NORTHPOINT

HULL

9

2.4

16/06/2016

THE GOLDEN BROOK PRACTICE

NOTTINGHAM

33

2.4

20/11/2017

WHADDON HEALTHCARE

MILTON KEYNES

71

2.5

02/08/2016

ST THOMAS MEDICAL GROUP

EXETER

76

2.6

16/01/2018

HEATON ROAD SURGERY

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

43

2.6

10/02/2015

FOXHAYES PRACTICE

EXETER

29

2.7

14/12/2017

LEICESTER CITY ASSIST PRACTICE

LEICESTER

3

2.7

06/11/2014

THISTLEMOOR MEDICAL CENTRE

PETERBOROUGH

128

2.7

09/03/2022

ROTTON PARK MEDICAL CENTRE

BIRMINGHAM

28

2.8

19/12/2016

THE FORUM HEALTH CENTRE

COVENTRY

92

2.8

01/12/2016

ROPEWALKS GEN. PRACTICE

LIVERPOOL

69

2.8

15/12/2016

FIVE OAKS FAMILIY PRACTICE

MANCHESTER

60

2.8

05/04/2016

THE HEIGHT GENERAL PRACTICE

MANCHESTER

43

2.8

22/08/2017

WEST ROAD MEDICAL CENTRE

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

28

2.8

28/08/2019

RIDGACRE HOUSE SURGERY

BIRMINGHAM

60

2.9

12/03/2019

KIRKSTALL LANE MEDICAL CENTRE

LEEDS

41

2.9

10/03/2019

ST LEONARDS PRACTICE

EXETER

60

3.1

13/06/2018

CHP LTD - BRANSHOLME

HULL

52

3.2

16/06/2016

BURTON CROFT SURGERY (Dr Moxon & Partners)

LEEDS

44

3.3

17/11/2016

THE DOC'S SURGERY

MANCHESTER

64

3.3

21/06/2016

WEST GORTON MEDICAL PRACTICE

MANCHESTER

39

3.3

23/05/2018

THE OAKS MEDICAL CENTRE

NOTTINGHAM

49

3.3

17/11/2015

KINGSBURY ROAD MEDICAL CENTRE

BIRMINGHAM

21

3.4

05/03/2019

INCLUSION HEALTHCARE

LEICESTER

5

3.4

06/11/2014

EASTWOOD PRIMARY CARE CENTRE

NOTTINGHAM

17

3.7

24/05/2016

CAMBRIDGE ACCESS SURGERY

CAMBRIDGE

8

3.8

01/12/2021

LAUREL BANK SURGERY

LEEDS

46

3.8

10/11/2016

LUTHER STREET MEDICAL PRACTICE

OXFORD

13

3.8

20/04/2016

BOROUGHBURY MEDICAL CENTRE

PETERBOROUGH

212

3.8

29/03/2022

UNIVERSITY MEDICAL GROUP

READING

128

3.9

17/06/2019

SPRINGBANK SURGERY

YORK

4

4

14/09/2016

ARCH HEALTHCARE

BRIGHTON

16

4.1

28/01/2019

WYNDHAM HOUSE SURGERY

EXETER

8

4.1

26/08/2015

THORNTON MEDICAL CENTRE

LEEDS

36

4.1

05/12/2019

GOSFORTH MEMORIAL MED.CTR

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

28

4.1

15/03/2016

CADBURY HEATH HEALTHCARE

BRISTOL

20

4.2

25/07/2019

GRANTA MEDICAL PRACTICES

CAMBRIDGE

16

4.3

14/10/2019

WOODBURY SURGERY

EXETER

10

4.3

20/09/2016

ANCOATS URBAN VILLAGE MEDICAL PRACTICE

MANCHESTER

61

4.3

23/06/2015

STONEGATE MEDICAL CLINIC

YORK

27

4.7

17/05/2019

CHERITON BISHOP SURGERY

EXETER

4

4.8

15/07/2015

ASTLEY GENERAL PRACTICE

MANCHESTER

27

5

23/05/2017

ABBEYVIEW SURGERY

PETERBOROUGH

8

5

05/03/2020

Many of the CQC reviews are quite old

Another thing we spotted while conducting our research was that a massive eight in ten GP surgeries haven’t been inspected since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

     

%

Inspected in March 2020 or earlier (not inspected since Covid)

575

81%

Not inspected since 2018 or earlier

745

56%

 

While the CQC advises that it has introduced a monthly review of the information they hold, and they are using this to help prioritise their activity and guide them in how to respond, we noticed that there are a few practices that were considered to be performing below expected levels in their last official inspection several years ago but haven’t since been reviewed again.

Equally, the CQC advises that additional checks may be carried out for GPs deemed to be at ‘higher risk’ – with these checks including things such as the gathering of people’s experiences of care. However, again, we noticed several instances of surgeries getting poor online patient reviews but no official inspection having taken place there by the CQC for at least three years.

The reports go into quite a lot of detail

For anyone who would like to see how their own GP surgery stacked up in its latest CQC inspection, it’s easy to look this up yourself here.

While each report offers an overall rating, there is often more detail on how safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led it considered to be.

Furthermore, some practices also have additional ratings for the service they offer specific types of patients.

Nationwide, we noted that surgeries were most likely to have been officially classified as ‘Inadequate’ in the overall safety and leadership/management criteria, while an ‘Outstanding’ rating was most likely to have been awarded to practices who evidenced high levels of responsiveness.

 

Is it...? CQC Rating

Safe

Effective

Caring

Responsive

Well-Led

Inadequate

1%

0.3%

0.0%

0.2%

1%

Requires improvement

3%

5%

1%

4%

2%

Good

96%

92%

95%

88%

91%

Outstanding

1%

3%

4%

7%

6%

 

When drilling down into specific patient groups, it is families and working-aged people who are most likely to receive a service that the CQC would consider as ‘requiring improvement’.

 

CQC Service Rating for Different Patients

People With Long Term Conditions

Families, children and young people

Older people

Work age people

People with poor mental health

Vulnerable people

Inadequate

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Requires improvement

4%

5%

2%

5%

3%

2%

Good

91%

5%

4%

90%

92%

91%

Outstanding

5%

90%

94%

5%

7%

7%

 

Our conclusion

Overall, it appears that when it comes to local healthcare provision there is somewhat of a ‘postcode lottery’.

While there are some city or town-specific trends between poor patient reviews and low CQC ratings, more often than not it appears to be largely down to the practice itself, with some GPs looking to offer a very high-quality service to their patients, while others in the area appear to fall below expected standards.

While an inadequate rating doesn’t necessarily equate to poor patient care, where there is a concern regarding safety and leadership capability it does suggest that there are risks to those who rely on those GP surgeries.

The support we can offer

We believe that GP surgeries are a vital front line of defence for people and that they should be adequately funded, and support should be made available to implement changes as needed following CQC inspections. 

Sadly, failings in care at GP surgeries can have a devastating impact on patients. Where failings are identified, it is our opinion that lessons learnt should be shared across all surgeries to protect patients.  

Patients who suffer as a result of medical negligence often pursue a claim for compensation to pay for follow up treatment, loss of earnings and rehabilitation. However, many take legal action in a bid to ensure that changes are made

If you believe you have experienced care from your GP that was below the expected level, then our expert solicitors are on hand to offer you a Free Claims Assessment.

We’ve recovered compensation for many people who have suffered because of medical negligence, and we’ve helped them to gain access to the specialist care, treatment and rehabilitation they need to start to rebuild their lives again.

We understand that taking legal action can seem frightening, but we pride ourselves on our friendly and supportive approach.

Our study in more detail

Our study was conducted in March and June 2022 using live data sources that will change over time. Further information about our sources and the methodology used are below.

Sources

Methodology

      • We downloaded a list of the latest list of active GP surgeries in England
      • We filtered these by city
      • We selected a list of 21 mayor towns and cities, considering their population size and geographical distribution across England - we did not include London
      • We looked up each GP surgery name in Google Maps, and noted down the number of times it has been reviewed, and the average review rating
      • We then looked up each GP surgery name in the CQC database and noted down details about its inspection and review ratings
      • We then worked out the average review rating and CQC 'standard' per city or town
      • We also looked at how recently GP surgeries have been inspected. We refer to 'since the start of Covid-19' which means before 23rd March 2022
      • When preparing the ‘best 20’ and ‘worst 20’ lists, we discounted any GP practices with fewer than ten online reviews
      • In some towns / cities, there were not matching listings on Google and the CQC database (in terms of the practice name or address) and so only the available data was included and counted

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