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Orchard Court Surgery, Darlington, is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

21 May 2015
Drs Charlton, Russell, Stevens & Stone
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by the Orchard Court Surgery (Drs Charlton, Russell, Stevens & Stone) to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in February 2015.

Inspectors rated the practice as outstanding for, caring, responsiveness, safety and well led and good for effectiveness. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

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 the Orchard Court Surgery highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice including:

  • The practice used every opportunity to learn from internal and external incidents, to support improvement. Information about safety was highly valued and was used to promote learning and improvement. Risk management was comprehensive, well embedded and recognised as the responsibility of all staff.
  • The practice actively promoted diabetic patient education schemes and a locally procured CCG scheme and could demonstrate a high uptake from patients when compared to other practices in the CCG.
  • CQC were shown numerous examples which demonstrated the practice’s commitment to work collaboratively with other partners to improve outcomes for people. Examples included the falls prevention team, Darlington Healthy Hub, and the Darlington rehabilitation stroke unit.
  • Staff applied a holistic approach to managing patients. Inspectors were provided with many examples where staff had supported patients with other aspects of their lives, such as their social life to enhance their health and wellbeing. Staff had sourced activities for patients in their own time and shared this with patients. Patient feedback reflected this.

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

“The care we observed at the practice really was excellent. It sets a high standard that every GP Practice should seek to attain.

“The practice had a clear vision - it had quality and safety as its top priority and there was a high level of staff satisfaction. Staff were proud of the practice they worked for and spoke highly of the culture.

“This is an excellent well-led GP practice that is innovative, where patients can access appointments and services in a way and at a time to suit them. I was particularly impressed with the practices’ approach to learn from previous incidents. This ethic featured strongly, helping to embed an outstanding safety culture.”


For media enquiries, David Fryer 07901 514220 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 Orchard Court Surgery.

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.