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Northumberland medical practice is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

18 May 2016
Bedlingtonshire Medical Group
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by the Bedlingtonshire Medical Group to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in February 2016.

Inspectors rated the practice as Outstanding for, safety, responsiveness, effectiveness and well-led and Good for caring. A full report of the inspection has been published.

Under CQC’s 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 practice was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs. Information about how to complain was available and easy to understand - the practice had a clear vision which had quality and safety as its top priority. The strategy to deliver this vision had been produced with stakeholders and was regularly reviewed and discussed with staff.

The report on the Bedlingtonshire Medical Group practice highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice including:

  • The practice had implemented a number of initiatives as part of their High Risk pathway, which was designed to manage patients at risk of unplanned hospital admissions. These included a review of prescribing which had reduced unnecessary repeat prescriptions by 16%
  • A practice nurse with experience of minor illness care had been employed to implement a minor illness clinic at the practice. They created an evidence-based minor illness triage pathway developed for receptionists, and any patients who fit the criteria on the list could be given an appointment with the nurse instead of a GP. Minor illness appointments were blocked out for these patients, creating on average 25 additional GP appointments per day.

Sue McMillan CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the North says:

“This is an excellent practice, delivering top quality care in Northumbria. For a practice to be rated outstanding in four out of five categories, and good in the remaining category clearly demonstrates that there is a committed workforce that has patient-centred care as its central theme.

“I cannot fail to be impressed with the innovative way the practice manages their minor illness triage pathway. New ways of working are difficult to implement but to launch a system that releases much-needed appointments every day is evidently a superb method of freeing up GP time. The practice is to be congratulated.

“The practice used innovative and proactive methods to improve patient outcomes – it worked with other local providers to share best practice.

“Feedback from patients about their care was consistently and strongly positive and the innovative way in which the practice is working is clearly paying off which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding.”


For media enquiries, David Fryer 07901 514220, Kerri James on 0191 233 3324 or 07464 92 9966 or call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143. For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report on the Bedlingtonshire Medical Group.

Providers must 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.