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St Thomas Health Centre is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

22 January 2015
St Thomas Medical Group
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of services provided by the St Thomas Health Centre in Exeter to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in October.

Inspectors found that the health centre practice was particularly Outstanding for being caring and responsive to the needs of patients, often providing extra services which were not specified by the GP contract.

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 highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • Nurses and healthcare assistants performed complex leg ulcer dressings in the practice following extended training at the local hospital with community nurses, saving patients from having to attend a clinic on the other side of the city.
  • Staff and the Friends of St Thomas Health Centre had raised money to fund equipment, transport and maintenance of a pain-relieving gas for complex wound dressings.
  • Administration staff had recognised that literature given out to patients with learning disabilities could be improved and had changed the documents to easy read versions.
  • The practice realised that some people were not fit enough to join the city walking group or wanted to remain in a smaller group so they worked with three other local practices to set up a strollers group for patients.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice said:

“It is clear that St Thomas Health Centre is providing a caring, responsive service supported by a very active group of volunteers who go out of their way to improve outcomes for patients.

“All we heard from patients and external organisations was overwhelmingly positive, with the staff inspired to offer kind and compassionate care for the benefit of their patients.

“The practice had a very active carers support and friends group, co-ordinated by one of the staff.  They offer services to all, but especially to isolated or lonely patients and carers, with extras such as lunch clubs for housebound patients, a telephone support service, or weekly social events and carers’ support groups.

“All of this hard work and innovation pays off in making a real difference for their patients – which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding.”


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07789 876508. For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report about St Thomas Medical Group.

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.