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Inspection carried out on 24 November 2016

During a routine inspection

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Willow Tree Family Doctors on 24 November 2016. Overall the practice 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 reporting and recording significant events.
  • Risks to patients were assessed and well managed

  • 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.
  • Outcomes for patients were comparable to local and national averages with the exception of the uptake of childhood vaccinations, which were comparable to local averages but significantly below national averages for some vaccinations.
  • Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment; however, members of the Patient Participation Group had said that it could be difficult to read the information displayed on the television display screen in the waiting room, and there were no information posters displayed in the area.
  • 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.
  • Patients said they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP and there was continuity of care, with urgent appointments available the same day.
  • The practice had good facilities and was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs.
  • There was a clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management. The practice proactively sought feedback from staff and patients, which it acted on.
  • The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the duty of candour.

We saw one area of outstanding practice:

The practice had been working closely with staff from the supported living home situated next door in order to improve outcomes for residents with long-term conditions. They met regularly with staff from the home to discuss patients’ conditions and provide training on managing long-term conditions. We saw data which showed a positive impact for patients of this joint approach. For the five month period prior to the practice starting this joint working (November 2014-April 2015) there had been 80 ambulance call-outs and 23 unplanned admissions to hospital for these patients. Work with the home started in April 2015 and data showed that for the five month period following the work commencing (May to September 2015) there were 17 ambulance call-outs for these patients (a 78% reduction) and eight unplanned admissions to hospital (a 65% reduction).

The areas where the provider should make improvement are:

  • They should review the way that information is displayed in the waiting area to ensure that it is accessible to all patients.
  • They should consider what further action they can take to improve their uptake of childhood vaccinations.
  • They should ensure that waste bins are labelled to indicate the type of waste they are for.

Professor Steve Field CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP 

Chief Inspector of General Practice