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Archived: The Rothbury Practice Good


Inspection carried out on 11 February 2016

During a routine inspection

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at The Rothbury Practice on 11 February 2016. Overall the practice is rated as good.

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

  • 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.

  • Staff assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with current evidence based guidance. Staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment.
  • 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.
  • Patients said they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP and that 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 clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management. The practice proactively sought feedback from staff and patients, which they acted on.
  • The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the Duty of Candour.

We saw some areas of outstanding practice:

  • The practice responded quickly to provide care to approximately 450 extra patients from a nearby practice, which was closed down at short notice last autumn. This represented an 8% increase in the patient list size of the practice. Both clinical and administration staff worked extra hours to ensure that all of these patients were registered quickly and that nobody was overlooked. Extra staff were recruited to ensure medical records and prescriptions were transferred correctly. The practice has managed this task without negatively impacting on the 450 patients or their existing patient population.

  • The practice provided end-of-life care, in conjunction with the local palliative care team, which had a strong, visible, person-centred approach. Patients were assigned to a named GP who oversaw their care, while another GP was assigned to offer support to family members. The practice had also developed a template to improve communication between services involved in managing the end-of-life care of their patients. We saw evidence and received feedback from patients to show that this end-of-life service was greatly appreciated.

The areas where the provider should make improvement are:

  • Provide appropriate training to staff who act as chaperones to assist them to perform this role.

Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP) 

Chief Inspector of General Practice