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Lancashire GP surgery is rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission

6 August 2015
Beacon Primary Care
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by the Beacon Primary Care in Skelmersdale, Lancashire as Outstanding following an inspection in May 2015.

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.

The inspection team, which included a GP and a practice manager as specialist advisors, rated the services provided by Beacon Primary Care as Outstanding for older people, people with long-term conditions, people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable, and those experiencing poor mental health. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

The practice operates across three sites and has more than 11,600 registered patients. Inspectors visited the practice’s main site at Sandy Lane Health Centre and the site on Railway Road in Ormskirk.

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

  • The practice had introduced ‘Patient Friends’ who were reception staff available throughout the day to review and discuss any problems with patient’s and help resolve issues quickly.
  • The practice had designed a Personalised Care Plan for older patients which demonstrated a holistic approach to avoiding unplanned admission to hospital. This included a frailty assessment tool that reflected national good practice and a detailed personal medical history including advanced care planning details.
  • The practice used the skills of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) to carry out minor surgical procedures in line with their registration and NICE guidance. The outcomes from patients accessing this service were closely monitored by the practice.
  • Appointments and repeat prescriptions could be obtained online and the practice also provided patients with online access to their full medical records. At the time of the inspection records showed 1167 patients from the 11650 registered patients actively accessed their records on a regular basis.

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the North, said:

“It is clear that Beacon Primary Care is providing an effective, responsive and well-led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Lancashire.

“Feedback from patients was overwhelmingly positive and many commented that staff listened to them and acted on their suggestions.

“We found that the practice displayed an excellent understanding of the differing needs of their patients and staff demonstrated a commitment to help and support them.

“The practice was actively involved in local and national initiatives to improve patient care and was proactive in trialling new ways of working to ensure that they continued to meet patient’s needs.

“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.”


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 Beacon Primary Care.

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.