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First GP practice in Berkshire to be rated as Outstanding

8 May 2015
University Medical Group
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by the University Medical Centre at Reading, Berkshire to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in January. This is the first GP practice in Berkshire to be rated in this way.

Under CQC’s new 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 practice at Northcourt Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, Good for being safe, effective and caring while rating it outstanding for being responsive and well led. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

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

  • Inspectors found the practice promoted work with young people and schools as part of “You’re welcome initiative.” This included engaging students by offering work experience opportunities at the practice. The practice had engaged with students on a work experience basis, and had asked them to review the services they offered to teenagers and young patients.
  • CQC observed innovative approaches to enable patients in vulnerable groups to access care services. For example, the practice held weekly diabetes clinics using the ‘House of Care’ model, in line with best practice. The practice hosted a Diabetic Eye screening clinic specifically for the residential care home patients with diabetes. The practice had arranged for a psychiatrist to hold regular clinics onsite to enable easy access to students, and audits showed this had positive impact on patients.
  • The practice implemented suggestions for improvements and made changes to the way it delivered services as a consequence of feedback from patients and from the Patient Participation Group(PPG).
  • Children and young people were treated in an age appropriate way and recognised as individuals. Inspectors found the practice nurse had written a book for child immunisations called ‘Coming to see the Nurse’. This book explained to young children the importance of immunisations in a colourful, humorous and pictorial format. This book was very popular with young children and many parents had complimented the nurse’s unique approach.

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

"We found that University Medical Centre is providing an outstanding service, particularly for younger people.

"The culture of continuous quality improvement and engagement united all staff to ensure good high quality care for patients.

"The practice has been using innovative and proactive methods to improve patient outcomes, for example, the practice nursing writing a book to explain the reasons for immunisations to young people. All the data suggests that this practice is performing highly - and you can see why."

Dr Geoff Payne, Medical Director, NHS England, said:

“We’re pleased to see an outstanding rating for well-led and responsive GP services. A strong learning culture and a commitment to continued quality improvement has meant patients have been able to see the benefits within the practice. Innovative approaches to engage with patients in vulnerable groups and help them to access care services has also led to improved services. We congratulate the staff at the University Medical Centre for their commitment to and care of the 17,000 patients registered with the practice.

“We recognise the hard work and time that staff put in at our GP practices across the South and hope that more GP practices will be recognised in the future.”

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Read our reports about University Medical Centre (University of Reading Medical Practice).

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 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.

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.