• Doctor
  • GP practice

Dr S K Bhardwaj and Dr M R Masood Also known as Symonds Green Health Centre

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Symonds Green Health Centre, Filey Close, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2JW (01438) 364488

Provided and run by:
Dr S K Bhardwaj and Dr M R Masood

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 24 November 2016

Dr S K Bhardwaj and Dr M R Masood also known as Symonds Green Health Centre situated in Stevenage, Hertfordshire is a GP practice which provides primary medical care for approximately 4,300 patients living in Stevenage and surrounding areas.

Dr S K Bhardwaj and Dr M R Masood provides primary care services to local communities under a General Medical Services (GMS) contract, which is a nationally agreed contract between general practices and NHS England. The practice population is predominantly white British along with a small ethnic population of Asian and Eastern European origin.

The practice has two GP partners (one male and one female). There is an independent nurse practitioner. There are two practice administrators (job share) who are supported by a team of administrative and reception staff. The local NHS trust provides health visiting and community nursing services to patients at this practice.

The practice is open Monday Friday from 8am to 1pm and again from 2pm till 6.30pm. The practice provides extended opening on a Tuesday when the practice is open till 8pm. The practice offers a variety of access routes including telephone appointments, on the day appointments and advance pre bookable appointments.

When the practice is closed services are provided by Herts Urgent Care via the 111 service.

Overall inspection


Updated 24 November 2016

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Dr S K Bhardwaj and Dr M R Masood on 25 August 2016. Overall the practice is rated as good.

  • 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.
  • The practice had a process in place to act on alerts that may affect patient safety. However we found the practice process for record keeping was not explicit.
  • There was an infection control protocol in place and staff had received up to date training. However we did not see evidence of a recent infection control audit.
  • 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.
  • Staff told us that they had received an induction when they were recruited. However we did not see documentary evidence of this induction.
  • Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment.
  • 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 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 leadership structure and staff felt supported by management.
  • The practice had a number of policies and procedures to govern activity and held regular governance meetings. However some policies we reviewed were undated and needed a review.

The areas where the provider should make improvement are:

  • Strengthen the recording systems relating to safety alerts so a strategic overview is available.
  • Formalise regular infection control audits.
  • Ensure training records related to staff induction are kept up-to-date.
  • Review practice specific policies so they reflect current requirements and are dated.

Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP) 

Chief Inspector of General Practice

People with long term conditions


Updated 24 November 2016

The practice is rated as good for the care of people with long-term conditions.

  • Nursing staff supported by the GP had lead roles in chronic disease management and patients at risk of hospital admission were identified as a priority.
  • The practice supported COPD patients with a rescue pack which is supply of standby medications to use in an emergency thereby avoiding the need to attend an A&E or out of hours service or when a patient could not get to a GP.
  • Performance for diabetes related indicators were comparable to the national average. For example, the percentage of patients with diabetes, on the register, in whom the last blood glucose reading showed good control in the in the preceding 12 months (01/04/2014 to 31/03/2015), was 69%, compared to the CCG average of 76% and the national average of 78%. Longer appointments and home visits were available when needed.
  • All these patients had a named GP and a structured annual review to check their health and medicines needs were being met.
  • The practice followed the NICE pathway on medicines optimisation to ensure safe and effective use of medicines for patients on long term medication.

  • For those patients with the most complex needs, the named GP worked with relevant health and care professionals to deliver a multidisciplinary package of care.

Families, children and young people


Updated 24 November 2016

The practice is rated as good for the care of families, children and young people.

  • There were systems in place 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 A&E attendances. Immunisation rates were relatively high for all standard childhood immunisations.
  • Patients told us that children and young people were treated in an age-appropriate way and were recognised as individuals, and we saw evidence to confirm this.
  • The practice’s uptake for the cervical screening programme was 79%, which was comparable to the CCG average of 83% and the national average of 82%.
  • Appointments were available outside of school hours and the premises were suitable for children and babies.
  • We saw positive examples of joint working with midwives and health visitors.
  • The practice provided a variety of health promotion information leaflets and resources for this population group.
  • Family planning service was available for this population group.

Older people


Updated 24 November 2016

The practice is rated as good for the care of older people.

  • The practice offered proactive, personalised care to meet the needs of the older people in its population.
  • Patients over 75 had a named accountable GP.
  • Patients were offered an over 75s health check.
  • Patients over 65 years were offered an annual influenza vaccination and pneumococcal vaccination.
  • The practice was responsive to the needs of older people, and offered home visits and urgent appointments for those with enhanced needs.
  • The practice worked closely with Community Nursing Team and coordinated care at home.
  • The practice had identified older patients at high risk of admissions to hospital (patients with multiple complex needs, and involving multiple agencies) and worked community services in planning support.
  • The practice provided a vaccination service for the housebound.
  • The practice supported a local care home and visited the home for a weekly ward round.

Working age people (including those recently retired and students)


Updated 24 November 2016

The practice is rated as good for the care of working-age people (including those recently retired and students).

  • The needs of the working age population, those recently retired and students had been identified and the practice had adjusted the services it offered to ensure these were accessible, flexible and offered continuity of care.

  • The practice was proactive in offering online services as well as a full range of health promotion and screening that reflects the needs for this age group.

  • The practice offered late evening appointments on Tuesdays from 6.30pm till 8pm for working patients and those who could not attend during normal opening hours. The practice provided telephone triage and ring back service by a duty GP at the patient’s request where appropriate.

  • The practice offered pre bookable appointments up to two weeks in advance which could be booked in person by telephone or online.

  • The practice offered NHS Health checks smoking cessation advice and travel immunisations.

  • The practice offered temporary registrations for students attending nearby educational establishments.

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)


Updated 24 November 2016

The practice is rated as good for the care of people experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia).

  • 100% of patients diagnosed with dementia had their care reviewed in a face to face meeting in the last 12 months, which was above the national average.

  • The practice offered annual reviews to all patients on the mental health register which included physical checks.

  • The practice regularly worked with multi-disciplinary teams in the case management of patients experiencing poor mental health, including those with dementia.

  • The practice carried out advance care planning for patients with dementia.

  • The practice had told patients experiencing poor mental health about how to access support groups and voluntary organisations including the community drugs and alcohol team.

  • Patients could self refer to the local Wellbeing Team through the practice reception.

  • The practice had a system in place to follow up patients who had attended A&E where they may have been experiencing poor mental health.

  • Staff had a good understanding of how to support patients with mental health needs and dementia.

People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable


Updated 24 November 2016

The practice is rated as good for the care of people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable.

  • The practice held a register of patients living in vulnerable circumstances including those with a learning disability.

  • The practice offered longer appointments for patients with a learning disability.

  • The practice regularly worked with other health care professionals in the case management of vulnerable patients.

  • The practice informed vulnerable patients about how to access support groups and voluntary organisations.

  • The practice held regular health visitor liaison and multi-disciplinary team meetings to discuss the care needs of specific patients.

  • The practice held regular review meetings involving district nurses, GPs and the local palliative care nurses for people that require end of life care and those on the palliative care register.

  • Staff knew how to recognise signs of abuse in vulnerable adults and children. Staff were aware of their responsibilities regarding information sharing, documentation of safeguarding concerns and how to contact relevant agencies in normal working hours and out of hours.

  • The practice identified patients who were also carers and signposted them to appropriate support.

  • The practice held a ‘TLC’ (tender loving care) list which identified patients that needed extra support such as those receiving end of life or palliative care and staff were able to respond to calls from such patients in a prompt sympathetic way.