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Exeter GP surgery rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission

14 January 2016
St Leonard's Practice
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by St Leonard’s Practice, Exeter, to be Outstanding following an inspection in July 2015.

The practice in Athelstan Road provides primary medical care services to approximately 8,800 patients.

Inspectors found that the practice was providing a safe, caring, effective, 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 new 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.

The report on St Leonard’s Practice highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • Patients newly diagnosed with cancer were contacted by a nurse practitioner and offered an appointment. The nurses provided care for patients with cancer normally only available in hospital, such as the care of their intravenous lines. This avoided the need for frequent patient visits to hospital
  • In June 2015 the practice had carried out a pilot primary care ophthalmology service to assess patient response to eye treatment at a GP practice. Findings had been positive and patients had been very happy with the service
  • The practice was internationally recognised for learning, research and improvement which led to benefits for their own patients, for example, the adoption of a system for the identification and management of patients with type two diabetes
  • Work by the practice had led to the development of the ‘Devon Predictive Model’ (DPM) to improve care for older people which was adopted by the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) and nationally. This works by close liaison with all healthcare providers to supply an analysis of all available data to provide a proactive and effective approach to patient care, especially for older people and at risk groups.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

“I am delighted to highlight the exceptional service at St Leonard’s Practice - people are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. The GPs and staff at the surgery have worked hard to demonstrate a real commitment to their patients. All of this hard work and dedication pays off in making a real difference for their patients – which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding. I hope other practices will see this as a model for excellent care.”

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in CQC’s South region said:

“It is clear that St Leonard’s Practice is providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Devon.

“Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Our inspectors found the practice to be outstanding for providing effective and responsive services and good for providing safe, caring and well led services.

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

Linda Prosser, Director of Commissioning for NHS England in the South West, said:

“This is a great acknowledgment of the staff at St Leonard’s and the standard of care they provide to their patients in the local community. The achievement of an ‘outstanding’ rating by the CQC reflects the practices’ exemplary approach in planning and delivering services. This is an excellent example of what outstanding care looks like.”


For further information please contact CQC 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 St Leonard’s Practice.

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.

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.