• Doctor
  • GP practice

Carden Surgery

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

County Oak Medical Centre, Carden Hill, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 8DD (01273) 500155

Provided and run by:
Carden Surgery

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 29 January 2018

Carden Surgery is situated on the outskirts of the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and operates from:

County Oak Medical Centre

Carden Hill


East Sussex


with a branch surgery at:

New Larchwood Surgery

Waldron Avenue



The practice provides services for approximately 7,620 patients living within the local area. The practice holds a general medical services (GMS) contract and provides GP services commissioned by NHS England. (A GMS contract is one between the practice and NHS England where elements of the contract such as opening times are standard.) The practice population has a slightly higher than average number of patients over the age of 65 and a higher percentage of patients with health related problems in daily life. The practice has a lower deprivation score compared to the national average, with more patients in employment or full-time education and lower levels of unemployment. Although the practice explained they served pockets of patients living in substantially more deprivation than was represented by their score.

New Larchwood Surgery, the branch surgery, shares premises with an independent living residential home for people aged 55 and over and all 40 of the residents are registered with the practice. In total, 1% the practice population resides in five local nursing or care homes while the practice also has a higher than average population of students, many of whom live in nearby halls of residence. Around 1% of the practice population are travellers from a permanent site near the practice.

County Oak Surgery is purpose built and shares its premises with another GP practice and a pharmacy. Weekly midwifery and regular dermatology clinics run from the premises. Separate organisations providing musculoskeletal and audiology clinics rent rooms in the same premises.

As well as a team of three GP partners and two salaried GPs (three male and two female), the practice also employs one nurse practitioner, three practice nurses, one health care assistant and a phlebotomist. There is a practice manager and a team of receptionists and administrative staff. The practice has access to a pharmacist who is shared by a cluster of local practices.

The practice is a training practice for foundation level two doctors and medical students.

County Oak Medical Centre is open between 8.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays, apart from Thursdays when the surgery closes at 1pm.

New Larchwood Surgery is open between 8.30am and 12pm then 1.30pm to 3.30pm on Mondays and Fridays and between 8.30am to 12pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

During the contracted hours of 8am to 6.30pm from Monday to Fridays when the practice is closed, patients are directed to an Out of Hours provider (IC24). The practice offers pre-bookable appointments, same day and phone appointments with GPs and nurses. There are also online appointments available. There are arrangements for patients to access care outside of contracted hours from an Out of Hours provider (111).

The practice is registered to provide the regulated activities of diagnostic and screening procedures; treatment of disease, disorder and injury; maternity and midwifery services; family planning and surgical procedures.

Overall inspection


Updated 29 January 2018

Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice

Carden Surgery was previously inspected on 25 August 2015 and was rated as good overall and for safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led services.

At this inspection on 1 December 2017 the practice is rated as good overall.

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

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 – Good

People with long-term conditions – Good

Families, children and young people – Good

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

People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable – Good

People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia) – Good

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. It ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence- based guidelines.

  • Staff involved and treated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.

  • Patients said they were able to book an appointment that suited their needs. Pre-bookable, on the day appointments, home visits and phone consultation services were available. Urgent appointments for those with enhanced needs were also provided the same day.

  • There was an active patient participation group in place who told us that they had seen improvements within the practice.

  • There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation. The practice worked closely with other services in order to provide and improve care for their patient populations.

  • Staff were positive about working in the practice and were involved in planning and decision making.

  • Patient survey results were positive and higher than average in a number of areas.

We saw one area of outstanding practice:

  • The practice encouraged registration and engagement for patients from a local travellers’ site by registering patients permanently rather than as temporary residents. The practice also offered help to complete registration forms and prescription requests. The practice told us this had helped to increase engagement and health awareness within this community. For example, there was an improvement in the number of patients within this community attending for immunisations, chronic disease reviews and health screening.

Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP) 

Chief Inspector of General Practice