Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice
We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Dr VMM Blackburn & Partners on 7 July 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. However although evidence was seen of actions taken there was no evidence that lessons were shared widely enough to support improvement.
- 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. However, we saw that although were actions taken there was no evidence that lessons were shared widely enough to support improvement.
- Patients said they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP, although the wait for these was sometimes two weeks or more. Urgent appointments were always 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 had been proactive in working collaboratively with the clinical commissioning group and midwifery services to develop a clinical pathway that identified, assessed and managed patients at risk of perinatal mental health problems. Once identified, a patient focussed, individualised care plan was developed in collaboration with the midwife. A local consultant psychiatrist with a special interest in post-natal depression was involved where appropriate. Evidence was seen from practice clinical notes that this had led to healthy pregnancies pre and post-natal for a number of at risk patients.
The areas where the provider should make improvements are:
- To ensure lessons learnt from complaints and significant events are shared widely enough to support improvement in quality of care.
- The practice should improve the identification of patients who are also carers.
Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP)
Chief Inspector of General Practice