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St Thomas Medical Group Outstanding

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

St Thomas Medical Group is rated as Outstanding overall. (the previous inspection October 2014 – Outstanding)

For purposes of the report the practice will be referred to as ‘the group’.

The key questions are rated as:

Are services safe? – Good

Are services effective? – Outstanding

Are services caring? – Good

Are services responsive? – Outstanding

Are services well-led? - Outstanding

As part of our inspection process, we also look at the quality of care for specific population groups. The population groups are rated as:

Older People – Outstanding

People with long-term conditions – Outstanding

Families, children and young people – Outstanding

Working age people (including those recently retired and students – Outstanding

People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable – Outstanding

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia) - Outstanding

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection of the St Thomas Medical Group on Tuesday 16 January 2018 and Thursday 18 January 2018 as part of our inspection programme.

At this inspection we found:

  • The group had clear systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen. When incidents did happen there was a genuinely open culture in which all safety concerns raised by staff and people who use services were highly valued as opportunities for learning and improvement.

  • The group routinely reviewed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provided. It ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence- based guidelines.

  • Patients with diabetes received effective care and were cared for by an experienced team of six nurses specialising in diabetic care.

  • 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.

  • The group were organised, efficient and had effective governance processes.

  • The leadership, governance and culture were used to drive and improve the delivery of high-quality person-centred care and were clear, supportive and encouraged creativity.

  • There had been many organisational changes and annual changes in university patient population. In response to this, the leadership had maintained positive patient outcomes, effective communication, positive feedback from patients and provided a popular place for staff to work.

We saw two areas of outstanding group:

People’s emotional and social needs were seen as important as their physical needs and the group had recognised that there were a high number of socially isolated patients within the community. As a result the group had responded by employing a volunteer coordinator who ran a proactive team of over 40 volunteers within the league of friends group. Together the volunteers offered; a telephone service to ring lonely older adults every one to two weeks to offer support, a full programme of social events during the week, a medicines delivery service, a sitting service for carers and shopping services. The services offered by the volunteers, in conjunction with the group, had been welcomed by patients and was successful in attracting new members after they themselves had been supported.

The staff were proactively responsive to the needs of the local population and services were delivered in a way to ensure flexibility, choice, convenience and continuity of care for patients. For example, the group offered additional services for their own patients and others in the community including vasectomy service (268 patients had received this service in 2017), rheumatology clinic (599 appointments in the last year), headache clinic (304 patients had been seen and treated in the last year) and leg ulcer service (85 patients had been seen at the leg clinic in the last two years and 53 ulcers had healed through the effective treatment provided). Students at the University Health Centre had access to additional proactive services including close co-ordination with the University Well Being Centre, prescription services and reviews during non-term time.

Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP) 

Chief Inspector of General Practice

Inspection areas

Safe

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Effective

Good

Updated 17 May 2019

Caring

Good

Updated 17 May 2019

Responsive

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Well-led

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Checks on specific services

People with long term conditions

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Families, children and young people

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Older people

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

Working age people (including those recently retired and students)

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019

People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable

Outstanding

Updated 17 May 2019