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Inspection carried out on 11 May 2016

During a routine inspection

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Nova Scotia Medical Centre on 11 May 2016. Overall the practice is rated as good for providing safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care for all of the population groups it serves.

Our key findings across all the areas we inspected were as follows:

  • The ethos and culture of the practice was to provide good quality service and care to patients.
  • Patients told us they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and were involved in care and decisions about their treatment.
  • Patients’ needs were assessed and care was planned and delivered following best practice guidance. A recognised tool was used to identify patients who were considered to be at risk of fraility.
  • The practice had designed a vulnerable adult search template which encompassed a multitude of factors which could contribute to vulnerability.

  • The practice had good facilities and was well equipped to treat and meet the needs of patients. Information regarding the services provided by the practice and how to make a complaint was readily available for patients.
  • Patients we spoke with were positive about access to the service. They said they found it generally easy to make an appointment, there was continuity of care and urgent appointments were available on the same day as requested.
  • The practice had a good understanding of, and complied with, the requirements of the duty of candour. (The duty of candour is a set of specific legal requirements that providers of services must follow when things go wrong with care and treatment.)
  • The partners promoted a culture of openness and honesty and there was a comprehensive ‘being open’ policy in place, which was reflected in their approach to safety. All staff were encouraged and supported to record any incidents using the electronic reporting system. There was evidence of good investigation, learning and sharing mechanisms in place.
  • Risks to patients were assessed and well managed. There were safe and effective governance arrangements in place.
  • There were comprehensive safeguarding systems in place; particularly around vulnerable children and adults.
  • The practice sought patient views how improvements could be made to the service, through the use of patient surveys, the NHS Friends and Family Test and the patient participation group.
  • There was a clear leadership structure, staff were aware of their roles and responsibilities and told us the GPs and manager were accessible and supportive.
  • The GP partners were forward thinking, aware of future challenges to the practice and were open to innovative practice.

We saw an area of outstanding practice:

  • One of the GPs had devised and designed an effective process for amber drug monitoring. This had been acknowledged by the local CCG and was in the process of being shared with other practices. (Amber drugs are prescribed medicines which require the patient to be closely monitored in line with specific guidelines.)

Professor Steve Field CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP 

Chief Inspector of General Practice

CQC Insight

These reports bring together existing national data from a range of indicators that allow us to identify and monitor changes in the quality of care outside of our inspections. The data within the reports do not constitute a judgement on performance, but inform our inspection teams. Our judgements on quality and safety continue to come only after inspection and we will not make judgements on data alone.