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CQC rate Northam Surgery, Devon as Outstanding

16 June 2016
Northam Surgery
Northam Surgery
  • Public,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by Northam Surgery, in Devon, to be Outstanding following an inspection in February.

Inspectors found the practice was providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service that meets the needs of the population it serves.

A full report of the inspection has now been published and is available on this website.

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

Garry Higgins, Head of Inspection for General Practice in CQC’s South region said:

“It is clear Northam Surgery is providing an effective, responsive and well-led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Devonshire.

“The practice had a clear vision and strategy to deliver this vision had been produced with stakeholders and was regularly reviewed and discussed with staff.

“High standards were promoted and owned by practice staff with evidence of good team working across all roles. There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels.

“All of this hard work pays off in making a real difference to 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 brilliant news for the patients and staff at Northam Surgery, and a reflection of the standard of care they provide. They are a really well organised and innovative practice which continually looks for ways to improve patient outcomes. Recently the practice piloted an improved diagnostic pathway for patients with suspected urine infections, which has now been rolled out across the CCG area.

“The ‘outstanding’ rating demonstrates what can be achieved and how it’s the patients who benefit when the skills and commitment of staff are harnessed fully.”

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

  • Northam Surgery has taken a systematic approach to working with other organisations to improve care outcomes, tackle health inequalities and obtain best value for money.
  • The practice strategy and supporting objectives are stretching, challenging and innovative. There were several examples of this, including the approach taken in recognition of the link between social isolation and heightened health risks. Innovative communitarian initiatives such as a Sunday afternoon tea club were soon to start at practice, with a GP and nurse available to see patients.
  • The practice was caring and extremely patient centred with a strong community presence. Thirty nine patients we spoke with, and comments received in the 30 comment cards, said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment. The practice had a taxi fund, which it used to support vulnerable patients enabling them to get to and from appointments safely when needed.


For further information, please contact Regional Engagement Manager, John Scott on 07789875809.

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

CQC has published a full report on Northam Surgery.

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)

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.