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

25 June 2015
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Stowhealth Surgery, in Stowmarket, Suffolk, to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in February 2015.

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 Stowhealth Surgery highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The practice provided a fully equipped gym with qualified fitness instructors to assist patients with improving their mobility, manage body weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • The practice had responded to areas highlighted in the 2013 Patient Reference Group (PRG) survey, (this is a group of patients registered with the practice who have an interest in the service provided by the practice). These included inserting evacuation chairs in the stairwells, lowering sections of the reception desk for wheelchair users and providing all clinical rooms with electric couches.
  • The practice had a clear vision that was shared and owned by all staff. Structured policies and processes were followed to deliver high standards of care. Performance and governance arrangements were proactively reviewed. Leadership responsibilities were delegated appropriately and staff were able to demonstrate this worked well in practice.
  • The practice had won awards in recognition of its integrated approach to long term medical conditions (LTMC). The LTMC clinics were run weekly by a team of health care assistants, nurses and GPs all working together to ensure patients received a one stop medication and health condition review.

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

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

“Feedback from patients and clinical teams 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.

“We found that the practice displayed an excellent understanding of the differing needs of their patients and staff demonstrated a commitment to help and support them.

“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 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 on Stowhealth 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.