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The Birches Medical Centre Good

The provider of this service changed - see old profile

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 22 May 2018

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at The Birches Medical Centre on 10 April 2018 as part of our inspection programme.

The key questions are rated as:

Are services safe? – Good

Are services effective? – Good

Are services caring? – Good

Are services responsive? – Good

Are services well-led? - Good

At this inspection we found:

  • The practice had clear systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen. When incidents did happen, the practice learned from them and improved their processes.
  • The practice routinely reviewed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provided through regular clinical audits and reviews of the service delivered. It ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence- based guidelines.
  • Staff met regularly to discuss patient care and practice related issues. Some records of the meetings held were very brief.
  • Medicines were well managed and prescriptions were stored securely.
  • Staff involved and treated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
  • Some patients found it difficult to get through to the practice by phone to book an appointment.
  • There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation.

The areas where the provider should make improvements are:

  • Curtains used in clinical rooms should be washed at least every six months and records kept of this activity.
  • Meeting notes should include more detailed information to keep staff informed about matters discussed and to ensure issues identified were followed-up and monitored.

Professor Steve Field CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP
Chief Inspector of General Practice

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 22 May 2018

We rated the practice and all of the population groups as good for providing a safe service

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Safety systems and processes

The practice had clear systems to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse.

  • The practice had appropriate systems to safeguard children and vulnerable adults from abuse. All staff received up-to-date safeguarding and safety training appropriate to their role. They knew how to identify and report concerns. Reports and learning from safeguarding incidents were available to staff. Staff who acted as chaperones were trained for their role and had received a DBS check. (DBS checks identify whether a person has a criminal record or is on an official list of people barred from working in roles where they may have contact with children or adults who may be vulnerable.)
  • Staff took steps, including working with other agencies, to protect patients from abuse, neglect, harassment, discrimination and breaches of their dignity and respect.
  • The practice carried out appropriate staff checks at the time of recruitment and on an ongoing basis.
  • There was an effective system to manage infection prevention and control. An infection control audit was carried out in October 2017. The practice was rated as amber which indicated a medium risk. The issues highlighted had been addressed by the practice manager.
  • The practice had arrangements to ensure that facilities and equipment were safe and in good working order.
  • Arrangements for managing waste and clinical specimens kept people safe.

Risks to patients

There were systems to assess, monitor and manage risks to patient safety.

  • Arrangements were in place for planning and monitoring the number and mix of staff needed to meet patients’ needs, including planning for holidays, sickness, busy periods and epidemics.
  • Newly recruited staff received induction training and a record was kept of the issues addressed.
  • The practice was equipped to deal with medical emergencies and staff were suitably trained in emergency procedures.
  • Staff understood their responsibilities to manage emergencies on the premises and to recognise those in need of urgent medical attention. Clinicians knew how to identify and manage patients with severe infections including sepsis.
  • When there were changes to services or staff the practice assessed and monitored the impact on safety.

Information to deliver safe care and treatment

Staff had the information they needed to deliver safe care and treatment to patients.

  • The care records we saw showed that information needed to deliver safe care and treatment was available to staff. There was a documented approach to managing test results.
  • The practice had systems for sharing information with staff and other agencies to enable them to deliver safe care and treatment.
  • Clinicians made timely referrals in line with protocols.

Appropriate and safe use of medicines

The practice had reliable systems for appropriate and safe handling of medicines.

  • The systems for managing and storing medicines, including vaccines, medical gases, emergency medicines and equipment, minimised risks.
  • Staff prescribed, administered or supplied medicines to patients and gave advice on medicines in line with current national guidance. The practice had reviewed its antibiotic prescribing and taken action to support good antimicrobial stewardship in line with local and national guidance.
  • Patients’ health was monitored in relation to the use of medicines and followed up on appropriately. Patients were involved in regular reviews of their medicines.
  • A pharmacist employed by the Bury Clinical Commissioning Group worked at the practice one day a week. Their role was to support the GPs and clinical staff in monitoring the use of medicines prescribed and to carry out patient reviews to help them better understand their medication.

Track record on safety

The practice had a good track record on safety.

  • There were comprehensive risk assessments in relation to safety issues.
  • The practice monitored and reviewed activity. This helped it to understand risks and gave a clear, accurate and current picture of safety that led to safety improvements. For example, small electrical equipment was tested and medical equipment was calibrated. There was a fire marshal appointed to different areas of the building and staff had completed fire safety training. Fire safety information was displayed and a fire drill had recently taken place. Fire safety risk assessments had been carried out.

Lessons learned and improvements made

The practice learned and made improvements when things went wrong.

  • Staff understood their duty to raise concerns and report incidents and near misses. Leaders and managers supported them when they did so.
  • There were adequate systems for reviewing and investigating when things went wrong. The practice learned and shared lessons identified themes and took action to improve safety in the practice.
  • The practice acted on and learned from external safety events as well as patient and medicine safety alerts.

Please refer to the Evidence Tables for further information.

Effective

Good

Updated 22 May 2018

The practice had a designated safeguarding lead for both children and adults, and all staff were fully aware of safeguarding procedures if they had concerns.

Caring

Good

Updated 22 May 2018

We rated the practice and all of the population groups as good for providing a caring service.

Kindness, respect and compassion

Staff treated patients with kindness, respect and compassion.

  • Feedback from patients was positive about the way staff treated patients.
  • Staff understood patients’ personal, cultural, social and religious needs.
  • The practice gave patients timely support and information.

Involvement in decisions about care and treatment

Staff helped patients to be involved in decisions about care and treatment. They were aware of the Accessible Information Standard (a requirement to make sure that patients and their carers can access and understand the information that they are given.)

  • Staff communicated with patients in a way that they could understand, for example, communication aids and easy read materials were available.
  • Staff helped patients and their carers find further information and access community and advocacy services. They helped them ask questions about their care and treatment.
  • The practice proactively identified carers and supported them. For example, a member of staff acted as a carers champion. They provided carers with information about NHS health checks and support services in the local community.

Privacy and dignity

The practice respected patients’ privacy and dignity.

  • Reception staff knew that if patients wanted to discuss sensitive issues or appeared distressed they could offer them a private room to discuss their needs.
  • Staff recognised the importance of people’s dignity and respect. They challenged behaviour that fell short of this.

Please refer to the Evidence Tables for further information.

Responsive

Good

Updated 22 May 2018

We rated the practice and all of the population groups as good for providing a responsive service.

Responding to and meeting people’s needs

The practice organised and delivered services to meet patients’ needs. It took account of patient needs and preferences.

  • The practice understood the needs of its population and tailored services in response to those needs.
  • Telephone consultations were available which supported patients who were unable to attend the practice during normal working hours.
  • The facilities and premises were appropriate for the services delivered.
  • The practice made reasonable adjustments when patients found it hard to access services.
  • The practice provided effective care coordination for patients who are more vulnerable or who have complex needs. They supported them to access services both within and outside the practice.
  • Care and treatment for patients with multiple long-term conditions and patients approaching the end of life was coordinated with other services.

Older people:

  • All patients had a named GP who supported them in whatever setting they lived, whether it was at home or in a care home or supported living scheme.
  • The practice was responsive to the needs of older patients, and offered home visits and urgent appointments for those with enhanced needs. The GP and practice nurse also accommodated home visits for those who had difficulties getting to the practice due to limited local public transport availability.
  • There was a medicines delivery service for housebound patients.

People with long-term conditions:

  • Patients with a long-term condition received an annual review to check their health and medicines needs were being appropriately met. Multiple conditions were reviewed at one appointment, and consultation times were flexible to meet each patient’s specific needs.
  • The practice held regular meetings with the local district nursing team to discuss and manage the needs of patients with complex medical issues.
  • Wheelchair access was available and a wheelchair was available for use when in the practice.
  • The premises were user friendly for disabled people as the building was on one level.
  • The practice was visually impaired friendly and a Guide Dog policy was in place
  • There was a hearing aid loop for patients with a hearing impairment.

Families, children and young people:

  • We found there were systems to identify and follow up children living in disadvantaged circumstances and who were at risk, for example, children and young people who had a high number of accident and emergency (A&E) attendances. Records we looked at confirmed this.
  • All parents or guardians calling with concerns about a child under the age of 12 were offered a same day urgent appointments when necessary.
  • Baby changing facilities were provided.
  • There was a childhood immunisation clinic with appointments available around school times.

Working age people (including those recently retired and students):

  • The needs of this population group had been identified and the practice had adjusted the services it offered to ensure these were accessible, flexible and offered continuity of care. For example, extended opening hours and Saturday appointments.
  • Wi-Fi was available.
  • Online appointments, access to the extended hours service and telephone consultations were available to patients unable to attend the surgery during normal working hours.
  • Pre bookable appointments were available four weeks in advance.
  • NHS health checks were available.
  • The Meningitis ACWY vaccination was available for students. The Men ACWY vaccine provides good protection against serious infections caused by four different meningococcal groups (A, C, W and Y) including meningitis and septicaemia.
  • Appointments were available from 8am with the healthcare assistant and advanced nurse practitioner.

People whose circumstances make them vulnerable:

  • The practice held a register of patients living in vulnerable circumstances including those with a learning disability.
  • People in vulnerable circumstances were easily able to register with the practice, including those with no fixed abode
  • Two of the GPs spoke Polish which supported those patients who were unable to speak English.
  • The drug and alcohol worker held regular individual support sessions at the practice.

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia):

  • Staff interviewed had a good understanding of how to support patients with mental health needs and those patients living with dementia.
  • The practice held GP led dedicated monthly mental health and dementia clinics. Patients who failed to attend were proactively followed up by a phone call from a GP.
  • Carers of patients with dementia were provided with information about support services including a dementia advisor
  • Longer appointments were available for these patients.

Timely access to care and treatment

Most patients reported they were able to access care and treatment from the practice within an acceptable timescale for their needs.

  • Patients had timely access to initial assessment, test results, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Waiting times, delays and cancellations were minimal and managed appropriately.
  • Patients with the most urgent needs had their care and treatment prioritised.

The practice used a range of methods to gather patient feedback which included internal surveys, questionnaires and the Friends And Family Test (FFT). A number of patients reported in the FFT questionnaires that the appointment system was not easy to use. They raised concerns that they found it difficult to get through to the practice to book an appointment. This issue was also reflected in the CQC comment cards. In light of this the practice conducted a survey with patients to identify how they could improve access to appointments. They had addressed some of the concerns raised by patients by introducing more telephone lines and increasing face to face appointments and telephone appointments with GPs and other clinical staff.

Listening and learning from concerns and complaints

The practice took complaints and concerns seriously and responded to them appropriately to improve the quality of care.

  • Information about how to make a complaint or raise concerns was available. Staff treated patients who made complaints compassionately.
  • The complaint policy and procedures were in line with recognised guidance. The practice learned lessons from individual concerns and complaints and also from analysis of trends. It acted as a result to improve the quality of care.

Please refer to the Evidence Tables for further information.

Well-led

Good

Updated 22 May 2018

We rated the practice and all of the population groups as good for providing a well-led service.

Leadership capacity and capability

Leaders had the capacity and skills to deliver high-quality, sustainable care.

  • Leaders were knowledgeable about issues and priorities relating to the quality and future of services. They understood the challenges and were addressing them.
  • Leaders at all levels were visible and approachable. They worked closely with staff and others to make sure they prioritised compassionate and inclusive leadership.
  • The practice had effective processes to develop leadership capacity and skills, including planning for the future leadership of the practice.

Vision and strategy

The practice had a clear vision and credible strategy to deliver high quality, sustainable care.

  • There was a clear vision and set of values. The practice had a realistic strategy and supporting business plans to achieve priorities. The practice developed its vision, values and strategy jointly with patients, staff and external partners.
  • Staff were aware of and understood the vision, values and strategy and their role in achieving them.
  • The strategy was in line with health and social priorities across the region. The practice planned its services to meet the needs of the practice population.
  • The practice monitored progress against delivery of the strategy.

Culture

The practice had consistently provided high-quality sustainable care.

  • Staff stated they felt respected, supported and valued. They were proud to work in the practice.
  • The practice focused on the needs of patients.
  • There was a staff disciplinary procedure to manage staff whose performance was not in line with the practice vision and values of providing high quality care.

  • Openness, honesty and transparency were demonstrated when responding to incidents and complaints. The provider was aware of and had systems to ensure compliance with the requirements of the duty of candour.

  • Staff we spoke with told us they were able to raise concerns and were encouraged to do so. They had confidence that these would be addressed.
  • There were processes for providing all staff with the development they need. This included appraisal and career development conversations. All staff received regular annual appraisals in the last year. Staff were supported to meet the requirements of professional revalidation where necessary. For example, one of the practice nurses was planning to begin a training course in advanced diabetes care.
  • Clinical staff were considered valued members of the practice team. They were given protected time for professional development and evaluation of their clinical work.
  • There was a strong emphasis on the safety and well-being of all staff.
  • The practice actively promoted equality and diversity. Staff had received equality and diversity training. Staff said they felt they were treated equally.
  • There were positive relationships between staff and teams.

Governance arrangements

There were clear responsibilities, roles and systems of accountability to support good governance and management.

  • Structures, processes and systems to support good governance and management were clearly set out, understood and effective. The governance and management of partnerships, joint working arrangements and shared services promoted interactive and co-ordinated person-centred care.
  • Staff were clear on their roles and accountabilities including in respect of safeguarding and infection prevention and control
  • Practice leaders had established proper policies, procedures and activities to ensure safety and assured themselves that they were operating as intended.

Managing risks, issues and performance

There were clear and effective processes for managing risks, issues and performance.

  • There was an effective, process to identify, understand, monitor and address current and future risks including risks to patient safety. For example, small electrical equipment had been checked for its safe use and equipment used by clinical staff had been calibrated to ensure it was in good working order.
  • The practice had processes to manage current and future performance. Performance of employed clinical staff could be demonstrated through audit of their consultations, prescribing and referral decisions. Practice leaders had oversight of national and local safety alerts, incidents, and complaints.
  • Clinical audit had a positive impact on quality of care and outcomes for patients. There was clear evidence of action to change practice to improve quality.
  • The practice had plans in place and had trained staff for major incidents.
  • The practice implemented service developments and where efficiency changes were made this was with input from clinicians to understand their impact on the quality of care.

Appropriate and accurate information

The practice acted on appropriate and accurate information.

  • Quality and operational information was used to ensure and improve performance. Performance information was combined with the views of patients.
  • Quality and sustainability were discussed in relevant meetings where all staff had sufficient access to information.
  • The practice used performance information which was reported and monitored and management and staff were held to account.
  • The information used to monitor performance and the delivery of quality care was accurate and useful. There were plans to address any identified weaknesses.
  • The practice submitted data or notifications to external organisations as required.
  • There were robust arrangements in line with data security standards for the availability, integrity and confidentiality of patient identifiable data, records and data management systems.

Engagement with patients, the public, staff and external partners

The practice involved patients, staff and external partners to support high-quality sustainable services.

A full and diverse range of patient and staff views and concerns were encouraged, heard and acted on to shape services and culture. There was an active Patient Participation Group (PPG). We spoke with a member of the PPG. They told us the group met regularly to discuss any practice related issues and that the practice manager and a GP always attended the meetings. They said they felt listened to and included in decision making. Their views and ideas were taken on board when possible and they were always treated with respect.

  • A quality assurance survey was completed by the practice. The findings of the survey were collated with action taken to address the issues raised. For example, patients were asked about their experience of accessing appointments by phone. In light of the negative comments, additional telephone lines and appointments were made available.
  • The service was transparent, collaborative and open with stakeholders about performance.

Continuous improvement and innovation

There was evidence of systems and processes for learning, continuous improvement and innovation.

  • There was a focus on continuous learning and improvement.
  • Staff knew about improvement methods and had the skills to use them.
  • The practice made use of internal and external reviews of incidents and complaints. Learning was shared and used to make improvements.
  • Leaders and managers encouraged staff to take time out to review individual and team objectives, processes and performance.
  • The practice had improved patient access to appointments although they continued to monitor this part of the service.
  • The practice nurse had completed their independent nurse prescriber training which meant they could prescribe medicines within the scope of their responsibility.
  • The practice had achieved 100% of the Greater Manchester standards.

Please refer to the Evidence Tables for further information.

Checks on specific services

People with long term conditions

Good

Families, children and young people

Good

Older people

Good

Working age people (including those recently retired and students)

Good

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)

Good

People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable

Good