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Norfolk GP surgery is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

29 October 2015
UEA Medical Centre
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by UEA Medical Centre, Norfolk to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in September.

Inspectors found that the practice was providing an innovative, 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.

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 UEA Medical Centre highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The practice had reached out to the local community by working closely with university faculties, Dean of students office, and providing information and talks to student groups. The practice clinicians had attended these organisations and promoted better health. If any underlying health issues were identified the patients (if they belonged to the practice) were offered an appointment at the practice and patients from other practices were advised to attend their own GP.
  • The practice had an assessment facility within the building. Patients with health concerns and with a limited support mechanism at home could be cared for at the practice until it was safe for them to return home. GPs made arrangements for patients to be supported when the practice closed at the end of the day.
  • The practice had developed a high level of clinical and administrative leadership and practice solutions. These were shared with and utilised by other practices, this was particularly in relation to contraception and by their involvement in caring for patients with eating disorders and mental health.
  • The practice population had a high prevalence of patients suffering from eating disorders (approximately 25% of total patients across the whole CCG of 22 practices). The practice had greatly enhanced its response to these patients by utilising a dedicated administrator who made sure all patients were followed up correctly. The practice employed effective inter agency working in order to provide the best on-going support to this patient group. They provided clinical support to the University Dean and worked together in the patients’ interests.
  • The practice engaged with a programme for the orientation of international patients. With 65% of the practice population being students and 43% of their total patients being born overseas, this programme educated students about NHS services, including managing expectations, immunisations, sexual health and general well-being.
  • We saw an innovative method of maintaining confidentiality in reception. The GPs had developed a list of 33 common conditions that patients presented with. These were advertised in reception on the desk and patients read the number out to the receptionist rather than verbally outlining their condition. This assisted the patient to keep their condition confidential if they wished to do so.

Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice and Dentistry in CQC’s Central region said:

“The practice had a clear vision which had quality and safety as its top priority. A business plan was in place, which was monitored, regularly reviewed and discussed with all staff. High standards were promoted and owned by all the practice staff. There was evidence of team working across all staff roles.

“Feedback from patients was excellent and staff went above and beyond their level of duty to care for patients. The practice also had a positive working atmosphere and was committed to continuing to improve services for its patients.

“The practice had a highly motivated and committed staff team to enable them to deliver well-led services. All staff we spoke with said they were proud of the organisation as a place to work. There was a very open, positive and supportive culture. This was evident by the response to incidents, significant events and complaints.

 “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 further information, please contact Jade Quittenton, Regional Engagement Officer on 0191 2333649

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 UEA Medical Centre.


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)

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.