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CQC inspectors rate Holsworthy Doctors, Devon, as Outstanding

16 April 2015
Holsworthy Doctors
  • Media

One of England's most rural GP practices, at Holsworthy in Devon, has been rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

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.

Inspectors rated the services provided by Holsworthy Medical Centre as Outstanding for being responsive and well led. A full report of the inspection in December has been published today.

The practice serves a population spread over a large area of Northern Devon. The report highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • Access for working patients was facilitated through early morning appointments every day of the week, and weekend clinics for flu vaccination were available throughout the winter months.
  • The practice provided a rapid response service and emergency care to patients involved in road traffic accidents until the ambulance or air ambulance service could arrive.
  • The practice promoted collaboration with other agencies. Social services were able to use the premises for safeguarding meetings. Patients were able to access face to face social care support once a week.
  • Since it can be difficult for patients needing palliative care to travel to the local hospice, a satellite day hospice had been built on land owned by the practice.
  • Records showed that every patient who was newly discharged from hospital following an emergency admission was visited within 24 hours by a GP.
  • The practice helped patients with long term conditions get support. The Memory Matters programme run by the Alzheimer's society was hosted at the practice, enabling attendance by carers and patients who would otherwise have to travel to Bideford or Barnstaple.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

"Holsworthy Doctors practice has the distinction of covering what may be the largest geographic area of any practice in England. But despite the challenges of rural travel and distances involved, we found that patient satisfaction was very high.

"The practice showed us they understood the needs of their patient list and the challenges of the location and had developed a responsive service to suit the area. We saw many examples of this on the inspection such as the specialist clinics for diabetic retinal screening, which are normally offered at the main hospital more than 20 miles away.

"We noticed that the GPs carried out an average of four home visits each per day, travelling up to 15 miles on rural roads to reach patients who needed to see them. The number of patient appointments far exceeded the number expected for the list size.

"We found that Holsworthy Doctors are providing an Outstanding service, particularly for people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable and for people experiencing poor mental health."

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:

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

"Throughout the inspection we were particularly impressed by the way the practice shaped its service to meet the needs of its patients across a large stretch of our countryside.

"The GPs and all their staff deserve the credit for this Outstanding service."


For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here (please note: the duty press officer 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

CQC has published a full report on Holsworthy Medical Centre.

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)

Since 1 April, providers have been required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. Further information on the display of CQC ratings

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.