The 15 Worst Areas For Healthcare In Merseyside

For many, the quality of nearby healthcare services is a key priority, and it’s easy to see why. Whether its shorter waiting times to see GPs and get tended to in A&E, or a hospital ward that maintains a clean and hygienic environment for patients, a good healthcare service will be quick, efficient, and prevent the transmission of further infections. Unfortunately, not all surgeries and healthcare facilities live up to this standard.

The NHS has come under strain over recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand, which have both taken their toll on the organisation. Fortunately, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) lead the charge in maintaining standards across all of our healthcare services. They conduct regular inspections assessing everything from the hygiene of the premises to the quality of patient care, and while many facilities pass their audits, many others do not and are required to make improvements.

That’s where Vanguard Cleaning can make a difference. With over two decades of medical cleaning expertise, we have helped countless medical practices pass their CQC inspections by ensuring an exceptional level of facility hygiene. Our staff training procedures are accredited by the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), which equips them with the specialist skills and knowledge to clean a range of medical environments, including offices, consulting rooms, and more specialist zones.

In our latest Vanguard healthcare report, we’ll take a look at medical services across Merseyside. We’ll examine which areas have the worst-rated healthcare services as determined by the CQC, and what that could mean for residents living or looking to move to the area.


Top 15 Worst Areas For Healthcare In Merseyside

Whether you’re just curious or looking more deeply into your area’s healthcare prospects – see below for the worst areas for healthcare in Merseyside.

15. Rainford

13.7% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Nesting in one of the furthest corners of Merseyside, Rainford has a varied industrial past with nearby coal mines and manufactories producing everything from clay smoking pipes to glass. Unfortunately, the state of healthcare in and around the town could use improvements, with 13.7% of services not passing their CQC inspection.

That includes 11 facilities that received a Requires Improvement rating, and 2 locations given the worst possible rating of Inadequate.


14. Prescot

14.7% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Once part of Lancashire County, Prescot was transferred to the metropolitan borough of Knowsley in Merseyside in 1974. The town is a highly cultural one, home to festivals of music and Elizabethan fayres, as well as key tourism attractions such as Knowsley Safari Park. That prestige does not carry across to healthcare, however, with 14.7% of facilities being found below expectation.

This figure adds up to a total of 32 healthcare services, 6 of which have been labelled as Inadequate, no doubt causing substantial concern for nearby residents.


13. Southport

14.8% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

At the very northern edge of Merseyside, Southport is renowned as a resort town and summer holiday destination. Attractions include a lengthy seaside pier, a castle-themed fairground, an indoor water park, and a beautiful pondside park, among many others. Despite this, healthcare in the area is not nearly as impressive, with 14.8% of medical facilities requiring substantial improvements.

That corresponds to 16 healthcare services that have been rated poorly, and only 2 that have received the distinction of being an Outstanding healthcare provider.


12. Maghull

15.7% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

As a suburban town on the outskirts of Liverpool, Maghull blends easy access to the bustling city centre with a more serene rural landscape. One of the best indicators of this is the Leeds to Liverpool canal, running right through the centre of Maghull and leading to the metropolis beyond. However, healthcare in Maghull could use improvement, with 15.7% of facilities failing their most recent CQC inspections.

Unfortunately, with a whopping 210 services that still haven’t been rated, residents of the town are largely in the dark about their town’s healthcare.


11. Formby

16.0% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Halfway between Southport and the city centre, Formby is known as a commuter and resort town. Its expansive beachfront leads into the sandy dunes of neighbouring Ainsdale, and its golf courses and parks stretch across the length of the town. While it may be frequented on summer days, those with illnesses may be best off heading elsewhere, as 16% of healthcare services in the town require improvement.

With only 20 facilities earning a rating of Good in the town, a further 4 medical services have failed their audits and need to make important changes going forward.


10. Halewood

16.3% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Another Liverpool suburb, Halewood is only a short distance away from the border with Cheshire. The town is centred around large car manufactories from household brand names such as Jaguar and Ford, and enjoys close proximity to Liverpool John Lennon airport. Beyond this, the healthcare situation in and around the town is poor, with 16.3% of medical facilities found to be lacking.

While Halewood does have a surprising 12 healthcare services that have achieved an Outstanding rating, it also contains 8 that were rated as Inadequate, indicating a mixed bag of quality across the town.


9. Kirkby

17.5% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

With a population of over 45,000, Kirkby is one of the larger settlements in Merseyside, and boasts a highly industrial heritage. The industrial estate to the town’s east is a major employer, with various call centres, logistical centres, and businesses premises contributing to the town’s regeneration. Healthcare in Kirkby still needs work, however, with 17.5% of healthcare services being found sub-par.

That corresponds to a total of 34 locations, with 4 of those receiving an Inadequate rating. More positively, the town has double that number of Outstanding services, with 8 locations earning that rating.


8. Crosby & Litherland

18.2% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Two towns to the north of Liverpool, this area encompasses parts of Crosby, Waterloo, Seaforth, Litherland, and even parts of Aintree and Bootle. It’s a rather picturesque part of the city, with beaches, lakes, and country parks all residing close by. Unfortunately, the area’s healthcare is not up to scratch, with 18.2% of healthcare services failing their most recent CQC audit.

That translates across to 26 locations that received a rating of Requires Improvement, and an additional 3 facilities that were rated as Inadequate, which is deeply concerning for local residents.


7. Liverpool

19.4% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Encompassing parts of Liverpool City Centre, the Knowledge Quarter, and Sefton, Merseyside’s largest settlement is also its most renowned. The city is home to key locations such as the Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool ONE, and Cavern Club, the famed home of the Beatles. Serving a constituency of hundreds of thousands of patients, Liverpool’s healthcare services are under strain, with 19.4% of locations requiring improvement.

While the city may contain 16 facilities that are rated as Outstanding, which is the highest number in the area, that positive figure is offset by a whopping 77 surgeries and clinics that have outright failed their CQC inspections.


6. Bootle

19.7% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

As a town just north of Liverpool, there is substantial crossover between Bootle and the city centre. Despite this, the town is classed as its own area, meaning we shall assess it as such. Unfortunately, Bootle is known to be rather impoverished, and the nearby healthcare services reflect that, with 19.7% of medical facilities being found to be below standards.

Despite this, over half of the town’s healthcare services have still not been rated by the CQC, with a shocking 549 locations unrated, meaning Bootle residents are only seeing a glimpse of medical care in the area.


5. Wallasey

20.3% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Just across the river from the previous entry, Wallasey rests at the northern tip of the borough of Wirral. Like some other towns in Merseyside, Wallasey enjoys the proximity of several beaches, golf clubs, and coastal parks, which are popular day-trip destinations in the summer. Despite this, the area’s healthcare has been found to be sub-par, with 20.3% of the town’s services requiring significant improvement.

That includes a total of 54 facilities that have been given a rating of Requires Improvement, and just 2 locations that have given the infamous Inadequate rating.


4. Birkenhead

21.2% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

The largest and most populous town in the Wirral, Birkenhead is best known for the area’s iconic accent. Historically, the town has developed a thriving shipbuilding industry, with local dockyards specialising in ship repair and even working on Royal Navy vessels. However, as an area with one of the highest mortality rates for men above 65, Birkenhead’s healthcare is poor, with 21.2% of services requiring improvement.

That figure results from 70 nearby medical facilities being given the rating of Requires Improvement, meaning a worryingly large portion of services in the area are offering under-par healthcare.


3. Heswall

21.9% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Situated halfway between Chester and Liverpool, Heswall (like much of the Wirral) used to be part of Cheshire before being transferred to the county of Merseyside in 1974. Despite the town being one of the more prosperous towns in the area, its healthcare services have not kept up with the trend, with a concerning 21.9% of surgeries and clinics performing below expectations.

While that figure does include 25 locations that are rated as Requires Improvement, Heswall earns the distinction of being the only area in Merseyside with 0 services rated as Inadequate.


2. Bebington

22.3% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

An area where the urban sprawl of Liverpool begins to transform into the green expanses beyond, Bebington is another Wirral town on this list. It has been recognised as the most desirable place to live in England according to the Royal Mail, based on housing, schools, and employment. Healthcare is the chink in that armour however, with 22.3% of services in and around Bebington being rated poorly.

That correlates to 58 locations that have been given a Requires Improvement rating, and an additional 3 services that have earned the infamous rating of Inadequate.


1. West Kirby & Hoylake

24.6% Of Healthcare Services Require Improvement

Two twin towns on the northwestern edge of the Wirral, West Kirby and Hoylake are officially the worst places for healthcare in Merseyside. Key attractions in the area include the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and the Marine Lake, a large manmade lake frequented by sailing events and leisurely water sports. Regardless, the state of healthcare in the area is dire, with an alarming 24.6% of medical facilities failing their most recent CQC audit.

That means a total of 15 services require improvements, which may seem meagre compared to previous entries, but it represents a large share of surgeries and clinics across West Kirby and Hoylake.


How We Source Our Data

Vanguard is dedicated to remaining objective and fully transparent in sourcing our data, which is taken directly from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website. This lets us search across different locations in Merseyside to find out how many healthcare services have earned Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, and Inadequate ratings. We’ll then calculate what percentage of these services are poorly-rated to work out the overall quality of healthcare in the area.

Important to note is that some services are not yet rated, so we exclude these from our calculations. Additionally, we cast a 5-mile radius across each location to cover all of their healthcare services, and as the UK (and Merseyside in particular) is a very metropolitan area, there is naturally some crossover between urban centres. For example, the Royal Liverpool Hospital will serve clients in both Liverpool city centre and Bootle, and as such the facility is included in the radius of both areas.