• Doctor
  • Out of hours GP service

Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C. - Head Office

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Riverside Clinic, 2 Landseer Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 0AZ 0845 241 3313

Provided and run by:
Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C.

Important: The provider of this service changed. See old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 4 May 2022

Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C. - Head Office is located in Ipswich at:

Riverside Clinic

2 Landseer Road



The provider Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C is a community interest company, limited by shares and is owned by 57 GP practices across Suffolk and is a not for profit organisation. Most of the GP practices are independently registered with the CQC. Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C serves a population of approximately 921,000 patients across the county of Suffolk. Services are provided from various locations including GP practices across Suffolk and North-East Essex, and in the local hospitals in Ipswich and Bury St. Edmunds and in the community hospital at Felixstowe. The provider holds contracts with Ipswich and East Suffolk, West Suffolk, Mid Essex and North-East Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

There is a Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C board which is made up of the registered manager, a Caldicott guardian, a GP, a responsible person for controlled drugs, safeguarding and information governance leads and six GPs, two GP practice managers and an independent senior non-executive. There is an integrated governance committee (IGC) which is comprised of the medical director, chief nurse, operations director, chief executive officer, financial controller, executive assistant, payroll manager, human resources, governance manager and three non-executive board directors and a service director. The IGC reports directly to the board. There are three review groups; primary care, urgent care and community care. These report to the IGC.

The provider is registered to provide diagnostic and screening procedures, family planning, maternity and midwifery services, surgical procedures and treatment of disease, disorder or injury. This location is registered to provide diagnostic and screening procedures and treatment of disease, disorder or injury.

Services offered by Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C. are:

Extended GP access (GP+). Suffolk GP+ is for people who need an appointment with a GP, nurse or other health professional in the evenings or at weekends. The service is staffed by GPs, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists and other health professionals. The service operates across Suffolk including the towns of Ipswich, Wickham Market, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Stowmarket, Bury St. Edmunds, Mildenhall, and Sudbury. This service also includes a GP streaming service in the emergency departments of Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals to ensure patients are seen by the appropriate clinical staff and in a timely manner.

The Felixstowe minor injuries clinic is operated from the local community hospital and is a service for patients to attend with an appointment, following referral from NHS111 or their GP practice. This service operates from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

The cardiology community clinic is an intermediate outpatient service which runs as an alternative to hospital-based clinics, and is offered at two locations, Ipswich and Woodbridge. The service provides consultations, advice and electrocardiogram (ECG) testing. This is for all patients in East Suffolk.

The Non-obstetric Ultrasound service is offered in 12 GP practice locations and one community setting across Suffolk. The service is for ambulant patients and provides ultrasounds for patients in a convenient location near to their home. This is for all patients in Suffolk.

The North East Essex Diabetes service is a pathway hub to co-ordinate, promote, and ensure, via a single point of access, the provision of a comprehensive range of integrated health services for people with diabetes and their carers.

The Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C clinical model includes primary care development, patient involvement and education and reaching non-engaged patients. This is offered across North East Essex.

The Falls and Fracture Liaison service is for patients who had experienced a fracture and may be at risk from falls. The service visited patients in their own homes and assessed patients which included ensuring they were compliant with their medicines. This is for all patients in West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group area.

The Bowel and Bladder service is a nurse led service and treats and supports patients with urinary or faecal incontinence. This is for all patients in Suffolk.

The Stoma Care service provides a supportive, advisory and educational role to the patient, family and integrated neighbourhood teams to ensure care can be self-managed by the patient or by the team. The service supports the timely discharge of patients who have a new stoma, providing holistic care including clinical advice on stoma care, product fitting and psychological support. This is for all patients in East Suffolk.

Suffolk GP Out of Hours (OOH) service, which patients access via the NHS111 service. The NHS111 team assess patients by telephone and refer to the Out of Hours service, if clinically appropriate. This results in either a telephone consultation, a face to face appointment at a primary care centre or a home visit with a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care professional. (The primary integrated urgent care provider is Practice Plus Group, who subcontract the integrated urgent care treatment and face to face service to Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C.). The Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C. began providing this service from April 2019. This service is provided across Suffolk. Bases are at Ipswich Hospital, Riverside Clinic Ipswich, Drovers House Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Eye, Sudbury, Saxmundham, Haverhill and Stowmarket.

This service is registered with CQC under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 in respect of some, but not all, of the services it provides. There are some exemptions from regulation by CQC which relate to particular types of service and these are set out in of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. For example, podiatry. These types of arrangements are exempt by law from CQC regulation.

Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C employs a wide range of clinical and non-clinical skill mix of staff on a permanent, bank, self-employed and agency basis. This includes for example, hospital consultants, GPs, specialist nurses, advanced nurse practitioners and practice nurses, advanced practitioner sonographers, pharmacists, healthcare assistants, and physician associates.

Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C is the provider for one GP practice, Unity Healthcare in Haverhill. This location was not included as part of this review. You can find the report for this inspection by searching for the location name at www.cqc.org.uk.

Overall inspection


Updated 4 May 2022

We carried out an announced desk-based review of Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C. - Head Office on 22 April 2022. Overall, the practice is rated as Good.

Set out the ratings for each key question

Safe - Good

Effective – Not inspected

Caring - Not inspected

Responsive - Not inspected

Well-led - Not inspected

At our previous inspection on 23 June 2021, the practice was rated Good overall and for providing effective, caring, responsive and well-led services but requires improvement for providing safe services. We found a breach of regulation relating to improvements which needed to be made to the system for monitoring oxygen availability across the GP+ and Out of Hours sites.

The areas where the provider should make improvements were:

  • Continue with plans to include relevant equipment used but not owned by the provider, as part of their calibration programme.
  • Continue work to document the Hepatitis B vaccination status of clinical staff.
  • Confirm, in writing, information given to patients verbally in response to complaints raised.

The full reports for previous inspections can be found by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for Suffolk GP Federation C.I.C. - Head Office on our website at www.cqc.org.uk

Why we carried out this review

This desk-based review was to follow up on the breach of regulation and areas where the provider ‘ ‘should’ improve which were identified at our previous inspection. We found the required improvements had been made and the practice is now rated as good for providing safe services.

How we carried out the review

Throughout the pandemic CQC has continued to regulate and respond to risk. However, taking into account the circumstances arising as a result of the pandemic, and in order to reduce risk, we have conducted our reviews differently.

This review was carried out remotely. This was with consent from the provider and in line with all data protection and information governance requirements.

This included

  • Conducting staff interviews using video conferencing
  • Requesting evidence from the provider

Our findings

We based our judgement of the quality of care at this service on a combination of:

  • what we found when we obtained new information from the provider
  • information from our ongoing monitoring of data about services and
  • information from the provider, patients, the public and other organisations.

We have rated this practice as Good overall

We found that:

  • The service had clear systems to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse.
  • The service had reliable systems for appropriate and safe handling of medicines.
  • The service took complaints and concerns seriously and responded to them appropriately to improve the quality of care. At our previous inspection, one of the complaint responses we reviewed did not include information about the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and another complaint was dealt with by telephone and PHSO information was given verbally but had not been documented. At this inspection, we saw evidence that all complaints handled verbally were followed up with a written communication which included the PHSO information.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth BM BS BMedSci MRCGP

Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care