Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice, Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP)
We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at The Abbey Medical Centre on 19 January 2017. Overall the practice is rated as good.
Our key findings across all the areas we inspected were as follows:
Staff used an effective system report and investigate significant events and the working culture encouraged openness and honesty to highlight areas for improvement.
Risks to patients were assessed and well managed, including through medicines management and safeguarding processes.
Staff assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with current evidence based guidance. Staff had been trained to provide them with the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment.
There was evidence of extensive and consistent multidisciplinary working to meet the complex needs of patients, including vulnerable young people and those who received palliative care.
A comprehensive programme of audits was in place and staff used this to assess quality of care and establish standards against national best practice guidance. The audit programme had demonstrably led to improvements in practice.
Patients provided positive feedback about the caring nature of staff and said they took the time to listen to their concerns. We saw staff treated people with compassion, dignity and respect and involved them in care planning and decisions about their treatment.
Information about services and how to complain was available and easy to understand. Improvements were made to the quality of care as a result of complaints and concerns.
The practice had good facilities and was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs.
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.
The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the duty of candour.
We saw areas of outstanding practice:
GPs had developed a significant range of multidisciplinary services to meet the complex needs of the location population that included young people with brain injuries, patients with needs relating to drug addiction and those under child protection orders. An on-call, responsive and individualised service was provided that included patients who lived in protective or sheltered accommodation.
Care for patients with safeguarding needs extended beyond the practice’s immediate responsibility. This included proactive working with schools, key workers, social workers and the police. Children at risk, refugees and homeless patients were offered an on-demand service by a team of staff who adapted the electronic patient records system to improve tracking and who undertook regular training with specialist teams to be able to deliver such services safely.