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Stansted Surgery: A case study in improvement

The Stansted Surgery
  • Organisations we regulate

Find out about the significant improvements made to patient care when we re-inspected Stansted Surgery.

The Stansted Surgery serves around 9,000 patients living around Stansted, Essex. In April 2015, the practice was placed into special measures after being rated inadequate for being safe and well-led.

During the latest inspection in February 2016, inspectors found that Stansted Surgery had made significant improvements in patient care. As a result, we awarded a new rating of good across all five key questions and rated it good overall.

Improvement: from April 2015 to February 2016


What we found in April 2015

  • Non-clinical staff were not trained for chaperone duties
  • Appropriate recruitment checks had not been carried out
  • Staff were not clear how their responsibilities related to the practice vision or strategy

What we found in February 2016

  • All staff received appropriate training; they had the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment
  • A clear leadership structure with staff feeling supported by management
  • Induction programme for all newly-appointed staff including safeguarding, infection prevention and control, fire safety, health and safety and confidentiality
  • Staffing levels and skill mix were planned, implemented and reviewed to keep patients safe at all times
  • Staff shortages were addressed quickly
  • A strong and visible person-centred culture; staff were highly motivated to offer care that was kind and promoted people’s dignity
  • All staff had appraisals and personal development plans

Risk analysis and incident reporting

What we found in April 2015

  • Staff were not clear about reporting incidents, near misses and concerns
  • When things went wrong, reviews and investigations were not thorough and any lessons learned were not communicated widely enough to support improvement

What we found in February 2016

  • An effective system for reporting and recording significant events
  • Clearly defined and embedded systems, processes and practices to keep patients safeguarded from abuse
  • Patients received reasonable support, truthful information and a verbal and written apology when there were unintended or unexpected safety incidents,

Access to appointments

What we found in April 2015

  • Patients said it was very difficult book appointments by phone
  • Appointment systems did not always work well and we were not assured that patients received care quickly enough when they needed it
  • A patient with limited mobility said their GP appointments on the ground floor could be up to 30 minutes late
  • Patient feedback on comment cards mentioned insufficient or rushed consultation times and difficulty getting a convenient appointment

What we found in February 2016

  • Staff had carried out a thorough review of the service to help implement sustainable improvements
  • Patient feedback was positive about longer appointments for older people
  • Services were adjusted to make them accessible and flexible and offer continuity of care
  • Waiting times and delays were minimal and managed well; services ran mostly on time
  • Patients were kept informed of any disruption to their care or treatment
  • Vulnerable patients were told how to access support groups and voluntary organisations

What they said

Barry Chandler, Practice Manager at The Stansted Surgery, said:

“The surgery is delighted with the outcome of the recent inspection and this has been achieved through the high level of staff commitment to improve and the excellent support of our patient participation group. The practice realises that the need to improve continues, and, we are very confident that moving to new premises later this year will assist us in achieving our goal of consistently delivering the best care for our patients.'

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

“It is clear that The Stansted Surgery has made some real improvements since our previous inspection in April 2015, where we identified serious concerns relating to the safe delivery of services and leadership of the practice.

“The practice is now providing a safe, caring, responsive, well-led and effective service. I am pleased to announce that The Stansted Surgery will come out of special measures and I congratulate them on the progress that they have made.”

Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice for the Central region, said:

“When we inspected the practice in February we found improvements had been made across the board.

“There is still some work to do and we shall continue to monitor the practice’s performance. I am confident that, if they keep going, The Stansted Surgery can set an example that others will follow.”

Patient feedback

We spoke with five patients during the inspection. All said they were happy with the care they received and thought staff were approachable, committed and caring. Outcomes for patients registered at the practice were positive, consistent and met their expectations.


Last updated:
16 May 2017


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