Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice
We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Plowright Medical Centre on 27 September 2017. 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. The practice were able to evidence significant events were recorded and discussed at practice meetings.
- Risks to patients were assessed and well managed. Comprehensive risk registers were held and gave clear management oversight.
- 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.
- Results from the GP patient survey showed patients rated the practice in line with or below others for several aspects of care.
- 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 did not always find it easy to make an appointment with a named GP, but that urgent appointments were 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 upon.
- The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the duty of candour.
- Clinical and non-clinical audits were carried out.
- The practice had implemented a system to email patients regarding flu vaccinations once consent had been received. The practice told us that this had contributed to the increased number of flu vaccinations they had performed to date. The number of vaccines given up to the day of the inspection already exceeded the total given in the whole full season last year.
We saw areas of outstanding practice:
The practice provided accommodation for two wellbeing counsellors and the service was available for all patients in the community. The practice provided and paid for the services of three additional counsellors for three sessions a week, with different areas of expertise including child adolescent and psychotherapy, mental health, post-natal depression, hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress, phobias and depression. Clinics slots were for one hour and a quiet room with settees had been made available to help make patients feel relaxed and comfortable. Since January 2017, they have provided 430 appointments to over 80 patients whose ages have ranged from under 16 to over 90 years old. We reviewed comments from the patient feedback which were all positive about the help they had received and the positive impact on their lives.
The practice employed a member of staff as a single point of contact for safeguarding (SPOC). This staff member was trained to safeguarding level two and worked with the GP safeguarding leads and with other agencies and health professionals such as health visitors and community nurses. All safeguarding information received was directed to this staff member and they held discussions and meetings with any relevant agencies and professionals to prepare the reports for the practice safeguarding lead and other professionals to use when attending any case conferences. We reviewed three examples where this had been beneficial to professional’s involved and ensured safer management of the person(s) concern.
The areas where the provider should make improvement are:
Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP)
Chief Inspector of General Practice