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Review carried out on 8 July 2021

During a monthly review of our data

We carried out a review of the data available to us about Branch End Surgery on 8 July 2021. We have not found evidence that we need to carry out an inspection or reassess our rating at this stage.

This could change at any time if we receive new information. We will continue to monitor data about this service.

If you have concerns about Branch End Surgery, you can give feedback on this service.

Inspection carried out on 30 September 2019

During an inspection looking at part of the service

We decided to undertake an inspection of this service following our annual review of the information available to us. This inspection looked at the following key questions:

  • Effective.
  • Well led.

We based our judgement of the quality of care at this service on a combination of:

  • what we found when we inspected.
  • information from our ongoing monitoring of data about services; and
  • information from the provider, patients, the public and other organisations.

Following our last inspection, in June 2016, we asked the provider to review their arrangements for recording and monitoring staff infection control training. During this inspection we found the provider had addressed this.

At this inspection we have rated this practice as good overall, and good for the effective and well led key questions.

We found that:

  • The practice provided care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm.
  • Patients received effective care and treatment that met their needs. The practice had the second highest screening rates for bowel and breast screening, within the local clinical commissioning group. They had also performed very well against the national averages. The practice’s childhood immunisation uptake rates were also very good.
  • Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect and involved them in decisions about their care.
  • The practice organised and delivered services to meet patients’ needs. Patients could access care and treatment in a timely way.
  • The way the practice was led and managed promoted the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care.
  • Leaders had a very good understanding of the issues and challenges they faced in developing the practice further, and they had a strong strategy and improvement plan in place to help them do this.
  • There was evidence of strong systems and processes for learning, continuous improvement and innovation. Leaders had just introduced a new quality assurance committee system, to help them: address areas of variation in quality; respond to and manage risk; identify areas where further improvements could be made.

Whilst we found no breaches of regulations, the provider should:

  • Review the frequency at which all staff receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, to bring it into line with guidance issued by the Resuscitation Council (UK).
  • Make arrangements for the practice nurses to complete Level 3 safeguarding training, as set out in the Intercollegiate Document, ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare staff’ (January 2019). Also, the provider should review their child safeguarding policy to take account of this guidance, as well as other recent national guidance.
  • Review the practice’s whistle-blowing policy, to make sure it complies with the NHS Improvement Raising Concerns (Whistleblowing) Policy.
  • Continue to take action to develop an active patient participation group.

Details of our findings and the evidence supporting our ratings are set out in the evidence table.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth BM BS BMedSci MRCGP

Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care

Inspection carried out on 16 June 2016

During an inspection looking at part of the service

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Branch End Surgery on 21 October 2014. Breaches of legal requirements were found. The practice submitted an action plan following this inspection.

The breaches we identified when we carried out the inspection on 21 October 2014 related to:

  • Regulation 12 HSCA 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 Cleanliness and infection control (which corresponds to Regulation 12 of the HSCA 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014).

After the comprehensive inspection the practice wrote to us to say what they would do to meet the above regulation. We carried out a focused inspection on 16 June 2016 to check whether the provider had taken steps to comply with the above legal requirement. This report only covers our findings in relation to those requirements. You can read the report from our last comprehensive inspection by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for Branch End Surgery on our website at

Our key findings across all the areas we inspected were as follows:

  • Improvements had been made to cleanliness and infection control following our last inspection on 21 October 2014. The practice had addressed most of the issues identified.
  • The practice had an effective system of stock control, date checks and point of use checks to ensure that all single use clinical instruments stored and used were within their ‘use by’ dates. Used and out of date instruments and equipment were disposed of in accordance with appropriate guidance.
  • The practice had effective cleaning schedules and an infection control risk assessment. However, the records kept of carpet cleaning could be improved.

The area where the provider should make improvements are:

  • Review their arrangements for the recording and monitoring of staff training in infection control.

Professor Steve Field CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP

Chief Inspector of General Practice

Inspection carried out on 21 October 2014

During a routine inspection

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

We carried out this comprehensive inspection on 21 October 2014, and visited the location of Branch End, Stocksfield.  The practice provides a Primary Medical Services contract (PMS) to approximately 5,500 patients from Stocksfield and surrounding areas, which are predominantly rural.

Overall, this practice was rated as good.

Our key findings were as follows:

  • Patients reported good access to the surgery and told us they did not have particular problems in obtaining appointments.
  • Patients reported the practice provided a caring service, where people were treated with dignity and respect. The practice was highly valued locally.
  • The practice held regular multi-disciplinary care meetings to ensure good care was provided.
  • The practice had strong clinical audit and incident reporting systems.
  • There was a strong stable team, providing good peer support to staff members. 

However, there were also areas of practice where the provider needs to make improvements. 

Importantly, the provider must:

  • Implement a system of stock control, date checks and point of use checks to ensure that all single use clinical instruments stored and used  are within their ‘use by’ dates.
  • Dispose in accordance with the appropriate guidance any unused instruments or equipment which have expired.
  • Improve cleaning schedules, infection control auditing and risk assessment, in order to demonstrate compliance with infection control guidance.

In addition the provider should:

  • Ensure all staff are brought up to date with their yearly appraisals.
  • Review and if necessary update policies and procedures on a regular basis, and record these review dates.
  • Devise a system which allows the practice to have an overview of all staff essential training and the required dates for refresher training.

Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP) 

Chief Inspector of General Practice