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Suffolk GP surgery is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

11 February 2016
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold, Suffolk, to be Outstanding following an inspection in November.

Inspectors found the practice was providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service that meets the needs of the population it serves.

A full report of the inspection has now been published and is available on this website.

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 Sole Bay Health Centre highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The Southwold Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) project reflected the complex needs of the older population, with the majority of individuals supported being over 85yrs. The practice was in the process of discussions with the clinical commission group for an adjoining plot of land to be developed into the Sole Bay Health and Care Home as an extension to the work already undertaken by CSIP.
  • The practice had instigated the Sole Bay Care Fund, this was an independent registered charity run by local trustees to provide short term emergency care, resources and equipment not normally funded by the NHS or Social Services. The fund provided immediate care and support to those patients with an acute medical or social care need and in many cases was effective in reducing unnecessary hospital admissions by providing short term care in the home or as near to home as possible.

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

“It is clear Sole Bay Health Centre is providing an effective, responsive and well led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Suffolk.

“Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment. We found many positive examples to demonstrate how patient’s’ choices and preferences were valued and acted on. In addition, views of external stakeholders were very positive and aligned with our findings.

“There was a clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management. The practice proactively sought feedback from staff and patients, which it acted on.

“Staff also understood and fulfilled their responsibilities to raise concerns, and to report incidents and near misses. Information about safety was recorded, monitored, appropriately reviewed and addressed.

“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 Regional Engagement Officer, Helen Gildersleeve on 0191 233 3379.

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 Sole Bay Health 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.

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.