This practice is rated as Good overall. (Previous inspection November 2014 – 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 inspection at Ash Trees Surgery on 26 April 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. They ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence- based guidelines.
- Staff involved and treated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
- 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. This included people who were in vulnerable circumstances or who had complex needs.
- Services were tailored to meet the needs of individual people and were delivered in a way to ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care.
- 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.
We saw some areas of outstanding practice:
- A “Listening Service” was established by the practice. This was a free, confidential service facilitated by a volunteer chaplain listener on a weekly basis. Patients we spoke to on the day of inspection spoke highly of the service. In 2017, the service was used by 80 patients, some of whom attended for multiple sessions.
- A counsellor who was specially trained to support patients who were military veterans held a regular clinic at the practice. At the time of inspection the practice held a register of 20 patients who had served in the military.
- The practice had approached the local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to set up a clinic at the practice. Patients could get advice from (CAB) staff about social issues, such as funding for carers. We spoke to patients who used the service, all of whom found it beneficial and told us it had allowed them to access information or funding they would have struggled to otherwise obtain.
The areas where the provider should make improvements are:
- Take steps to ensure the fire alarms at the branch practices are being checked regularly.
- Take measures to ensure the safety of the boiler at the main surgery.
- Investigate the reasons for lower than average results in some areas of the last National GP Patient Survey.
- Document verbal complaints made to the practice so they can be used to look for areas of improvement.
Professor Steve Field CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP
Chief Inspector of General Practice