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Maidstone GP surgery rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission

11 February 2016
Dr Michael John Heber
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has rated a Maidstone GP surgery as Outstanding following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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 Dr Michael John Heber from Sutton Valance, Maidstone as Outstanding for being responsive and well led. This is the first CQC Outstanding rating for a GP service in Kent. A full report of the inspection in November has been published today.

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

  • The practice worked closely with other organisations and with the local community in planning how services were provided to ensure that they meet people’s needs. For example in their professional interactions with a local nursing home and the local independent school.
  • 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. For example in the way that services were made available to members of the traveller community.
  • Feedback from patients about their care was positive and was consistently significantly better than local and national feedback.

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

"We found that the Dr Michael John Heber is providing an Outstanding service, particularly for people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable.

“I was particularly impressed with practice’s work to initiate positive service improvements for patients. We found that staff demonstrated a sound understanding of the differing needs of their patients and acted on these needs in the planning and delivery of its services

“The surgery staff have demonstrated 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.”

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 surgery of Dr Michael John Heber.

"Throughout the inspection we were particularly impressed by the way the practice worked with the public to shape its service to meet the needs of its patient groups.

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

A spokesperson for NHS England South said:

“General practice is the bedrock of the NHS and it’s pleasing that the majority of practices inspected are rated good, with some rated outstanding. These inspections are about ensuring that every patient, anywhere across the country, receives consistently high quality services by identifying issues for improvement but to also recognise best practice.

“Dr Michael John Heber’s Practice in Maidstone is one such example of this best practice and has been rated Outstanding by the CQC. This is the first GP Practice in Kent to be given this rating. The practice has been especially singled out for its caring services and responsiveness to its patient’s needs.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications 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 Dr Michael John Heber (Cobtree Medical 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.