Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice
We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Walnut Tree Health Centre on 24 August 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 been trained to provide them with 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. Improvements were made to the quality of care as a result of complaints and concerns.
- Whilst the majority of patients said they found it easy to make an appointment some commented on difficulty accessing appointments on occasion. The practice was actively recruiting for new GP partners and was aware of occasional difficulties accessing appointments. They were proactive in making changes to improve access.
- Urgent appointments were 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 it acted on.
- The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the duty of candour.
We saw one area of outstanding practice:
- The practice was classed as a POCT (point of care testing) hub practice within the locality, and alongside six other practices was offering patients additional services not normally found within a GP setting. For example, the practice was able to offer D-dimer and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) testing for patients. (D-dimer tests are used to rule out the presence of a blood clot).
The areas where the provider should make improvements are:
- Develop systems to identify and support more carers in their patient population.
- Continue to monitor and ensure improvement to patient access to GP appointments.
Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP)
Chief Inspector of General Practice