• Doctor
  • GP practice

Archived: Merchiston Surgery

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Highworth Road, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 4BF (01793) 823307

Provided and run by:
Merchiston Surgery

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

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Background to this inspection

Updated 11 June 2018

The provider, Merchiston Surgery, delivers all regulated activities from its sole location at:

Merchiston Surgery

Highworth Road

Stratton St Margaret



Tel: 01793 823307

Website: www.merchistonsurgery.co.uk/

Merchiston Surgery is located in Swindon, Wiltshire, and is one of 25 practices serving the NHS Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area. The practice has occupied its current, purpose-built premises since the 1990s, and is arranged over two floors. All patient services including nurse treatment and GP consulting rooms are located on the ground and first floors.

The practice has around 14,000 registered patients from an area surrounding the practice and Swindon town centre. The practice age distribution is broadly in line with the national average, with most patients being of working age or older. Merchiston Surgery has started the process of merging with six other NHS GP practices locally, to become the Wyvern Health Partnership. The aim of the merger is to develop services, share best practice and collaborate on health initiatives.

Merchiston Surgery is a training facility for clinical staff and currently accommodates two GP registrars (GP registrars are on a three year GP registration course, which includes an attachment to a practice under a supervising qualified GP).

The practice has a General Medical Services (GMS) contract to deliver health care services. GMS contracts are negotiated between NHS England and general practices for delivering medical services and are the most common form of GP contract.

Merchiston Surgery provides the following regulated activities:

  • Treatment of disease, disorder or injury
  • Diagnostic and screening procedures
  • Family planning
  • Maternity and midwifery services

There are seven GP partners (five female, two male), and one salaried GP (male). The wider clinical team consists of five nurses, three Health Care Assistants (HCAs) and a clinical pharmacist. The practice also employs a paramedic practitioner (paramedic practitioners generally work alongside and support community health care and GPs, delivering treatment to patients often with long–term conditions). The practice manager, who is also a partner, is concerned with the day-to-day running of the practice, along with an operations manager. The practice team is completed by administrative, secretarial and reception staff.

95% of the practice population describes itself as white, and around 5% as having a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. A measure of deprivation in the local area recorded a score of 8, on a scale of 1-10. A higher score indicates a less deprived area. (Note that the circumstances and lifestyles of the people living in an area affect its deprivation score. Not everyone living in a deprived area is deprived and not all deprived people live in deprived areas).

Merchiston Surgery is open from 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, and the practice will take calls during these times. Routine GP appointments are generally available from 8.30am to 11am and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The practice provides (pre-booked only) extended hours morning appointments from 7am to 8am on Monday and Friday, and extended hours evening appointments from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Monday and Tuesday, with a GP and nurse. All extended hours appointments can be pre-booked up to eight weeks in advance.

The practice has opted out of providing Out-Of-Hours services to its own patients. Outside of normal practice hours, patients can access the NHS 111 service, and an Out-Of-Hours GP is available at Swindon Walk-In Centre. Information about the Out-Of-Hours service was available on the practice website, on the front door, in the patient registration pack, and as an answerphone message.

Overall inspection


Updated 11 June 2018

This practice is rated as Good overall. (Previous inspection 16 September 2015 – Good)

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

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Merchiston Surgery on 1 May 2018 as part of our inspection programme.

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. It ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence- based guidelines.
  • Staff involved and treated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
  • Patients found the appointment system easy to use and reported that they were able to access care when they needed it.
  • There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation.
  • Patients could access a community navigator, employed by Swindon Borough Council. The community navigator supported patients to become more independent and use community services to prevent isolation and mental health issues.
  • There was a proactive approach to understanding the needs of different groups of people and to deliver care in a way that met these needs and promoted equality. Merchiston Surgery identified patients at risk of developing diabetes who were not on the diabetes register, and implemented changes that could help to prevent the progression of this health condition.
  • The practice hosted a talking therapy service for patients who had experienced bereavement, were carers, or were experiencing mental health issues.
  • The practice hosted screening services for abdominal aortic aneurysms and breast abnormalities.
  • Twenty-two per-cent of patients aged 75 years and over were registered for online services.

The areas where the provider should make improvements are:

The provider should continue to make efforts to lower its exception reporting rates for Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) indicators.

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