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CQC inspectors find Litchdon Medical Centre in Devon to be Outstanding

29 October 2015
Litchdon Medical Centre
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by Litchdon Medical Centre, in Barnstaple, Devon to be Outstanding following an inspection in July 2015.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

The inspection team, which included a GP, a practice nurse and other specialist advisors rated the services provided by the Litchdon Medical Centre as Outstanding for older patients, people with long term conditions, families, children and young people, people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable and people experiencing poor mental health.

A full report of the inspection has been published today.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the South, said:

“I am delighted to highlight the exceptional standard of care which is being provided by Litchdon Medical Centre.

“Feedback from patients was overwhelmingly positive and many commented that staff went above and beyond their level of duty.

“We were particularly impressed with the way the practice used innovative and proactive methods to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly homeless patients.

“Staff demonstrated a commitment to help support people to live healthier lives and drive continuous improvements in the outcomes for patients.

“All of this hard work pays off in making a real difference for their patients – which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding.”

Julia Cory, Head of Primary Care with NHS England in the South West said:

“This is a great tribute to the work at Litchdon Medical Centre, which highlights how staff do the basics really well and then go much, much further, always searching for ways to improve. The practice’s diabetes work is exemplary, while the holistic approach to dementia shows the importance of full staff involvement and close links with other agencies.”

The surgery, on Landkey Road in Barnstaple, Devon, provides primary medical services for over 14,000 patients.

The report highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The practice takes a holistic approach to assessing, planning and delivering care and treatment to people who use services. In particular, for people who are suspected to have or are diagnosed with dementia. Their care and treatment is overseen by a GP partner with extensive experience and works closely with hospital specialists in the older people mental health services. All of the staff have had dementia care training and several examples were seen demonstrating that patients were treated with dignity and received compassionate patient centred care.
  • The practice had a strong vision which had quality and effective care and treatment as its top priority. High standards were promoted and delivered by all practice staff with evidence of clear communication across all roles and with external agencies.
  • All staff were actively engaged in projects to monitor and improve quality and health outcomes for people. The practice was involved in a national pilot to provide education about healthy living to patients identified at risk of developing diabetes. Data for 2014/15 showed that the practice performed highly for monitoring and treating patients with diabetes and had completed 100% of reviews with patients.

For further information, please contact John Scott, Regional Engagement Manager on 077898 75809. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report on Litchdon Medical Centre.


Since 1 April, providers have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. Further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings.

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, we always ask the following five questions of services.

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?


For every NHS GP practice we will look at the quality of care for the following six population groups:

  • Older people
  • People with long-term conditions
  • Families, children and young people
  • Working age people (including those recently retired and students)
  • People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable
  • People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)

In July 2015 CQC launched a new online toolkit for GPs, featuring examples of outstanding practice that inspectors have found in GP surgeries across England. The toolkit, at, intends to provide real-world, illustrative examples of high quality general practice that other providers can refer to.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.