17 July 2017
Care UK – North East Essex out-of-hours service provides out-of-hours primary care services. The service is commissioned by the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide out-of-hours cover for a patient population of approximately 328,000 within the areas of Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council.
The clinicians include a mixture of employed GPs and self-employed contractor GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Urgent Care Practitioners (nurses and paramedics) and Pharmacists.
The service provides GP out-of-hours services Monday to Friday from 6.30pm to 8am, and for 24 hours a day at weekends and during bank holidays. The head office is located in Colchester, Essex. The GP out-of-hours service is run from three sites in Colchester, Clacton and Harwich. All three locations are open at weekends and two are open for set appointments during the week with the third site open as required and available.
The type of consultation offered is dependent on circumstances, clinical need and either the outcome of an assessment within the service or a transfer for a contact (face to face appointment) from the 111 service, who are the first point of contact. Appointments are transferred to be booked by the OOH service or a home visit or triage assessments arranged.
17 July 2017
Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice
We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Care UK – North East Essex on 29 March 2017. The service provides out-of-hours GP services. Overall the service is rated as good.
Our key findings across all the areas we inspected were as follows:
- There was an open and transparent approach to safety and an effective system in place for recording, reporting and learning from significant events. Learning from significant events was cascaded nationally throughout the organisation.
- Risks to patients were assessed and well managed.
- Patients’ care needs were assessed and delivered in a timely way according to need. The service met the National Quality Requirements.
- Staff assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with current evidence based guidance. Staff had been trained to provide them with the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment.
- The service maintained appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
- There was a system in place that enabled staff access to patient records, and the out-of-hours staff provided the local GPs and hospital, with information following contact with patients when appropriate.
- The service managed patients’ care and treatment in a timely way.
- Information about services and how to complain was available and easy to understand. Improvements were made to the quality of care as a result of complaints and concerns.
- The service worked proactively with other organisations and providers to develop services that supported alternatives to hospital admission where appropriate and improved the patient experience.
- The service had good facilities and was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs. The vehicles used for home visits were clean and well equipped.
- Patient feedback was strong and consistently positive. Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment.
- There was a clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management. The service proactively sought feedback from staff and patients, which it acted on.
- The provider had created an in-house learning mobile app for staff to use on their phones and handheld tablet devices.This had led to a 100% uptake of mandatory training courses for all staff within the organisation.
- The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the duty of candour.
Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP)
Chief Inspector of General Practice