You are here

CQC inspectors find Washington GP surgery to be Outstanding in the services provided to the local population

19 October 2016
Westbourne Medical Group
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Westbourne Medical Group to be Outstanding following an inspection in August this year.

This is a real achievement by the practice and a fantastic resource for the people of Washington, Sunderland to have on their doorstep.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are given a rating in five key areas, are they; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. The services provided by Westbourne Medical Group have been rated as Outstanding overall.

A full report of the inspection has been published.

Alison Holbourn, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

"It is clear Westbourne Medical Group is providing an effective, caring, responsive, and well-led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Sunderland. To get rated as Outstanding is a real achievement.

“We were particularly impressed with the practice’s dedication to improving outcomes for patients that traditionally might be at risk because of poor access to care. Amongst others, this included those with learning difficulties, veterans of the armed forces, and young people.

“The practice used lots of innovative and proactive methods to get the best outcomes for their patients. One example was the increased access to health advice for young people, including sexual health, by delivering a confidential clinic for young people outside normal school and work hours.

They often partnered with local organisations, such as support groups for veterans, to ensure the services they provided met people’s needs.

“It was impressive to see the time and resources that Westbourne Medical Group invested to improve the health of the local community.

“This is a great example of what outstanding care looks like.”

Inspectors saw that the practice had identified poorer outcomes were achieved for patients with learning disabilities across the Sunderland area and put an action plan in place to address this. As a result of action taken, both the number of identified patients with learning disabilities and the number attending for an annual health check had shown a year on year improvement. The practice put a high value on enabling people with learning disabilities to gain life skills. The practice manager had also volunteered their time and delivered CPR and emergency first aid training to two groups of people with learning disabilities, through a local support organisation. The practice had supported young people with learning disabilities or autism to access short and long term work opportunities within the practice. The practice had also been designated a safe place for vulnerable people, including people with learning disabilities.

This backed up what inspectors heard from patients, who said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

Along with other practices in the area, Westbourne Medical Group had recently initiated an ‘Eat well and let’s be fit’ scheme to tackle childhood obesity. The practice had produced packs which included helpful information, healthy eating sticker charts, lunch bag and water bottle. This initiative was at an early stage, but the practice planned to evaluate it in the future. Along with a neighbouring practice, Westbourne Medical Group had worked with local schools and involved children and young people in the development of the pack.

To help prevent unplanned pregnancy and to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease the practice held a confidential young person’s clinic every week in conjunction with another local practice.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

“The GPs and staff at Westbourne Medical Group have demonstrated a real commitment to their patients and I am delighted to highlight the exceptional service they are providing.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Kerri James by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966.

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 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Providers must display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.