First GP practices rated by CQC classed as 'outstanding'

The first two GP practices to have ratings published under the new-look CQC inspection regime have both been classified as outstanding.

Professor Steve Field: ratings should inspire others (Photo: JH Lancy)

Salford Health Matters Eccles was labelled outstanding across the CQC’s five key areas (safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led) as well as for the specific services for groups of patients that the CQC looked at.

The Irlam Medical Practice in Salford was judged to be outstanding in all key areas, and either good or outstanding across specific services that included the treatment of older people, those with long-term conditions, vulnerable patients, and those with poor mental health.

Both practices were inspected by teams that included GPs, practice nurses, and trained members of the public, and all GP practices in England are due to be inspected and rated under the new system within two years.

Inspectors cite good practice

Inspectors who visited Salford Health Matters cited examples of good practice at Salford Health Matters that contributed to its outstanding rating. They said appointment lengths varied according to patient need, all patients were given a same-day appointment with a GP if they asked for one, the practice took excellent care of vulnerable people including access to GPs for homeless people without appointments, and patients unhappy with their treatment were contacted to discuss ways the practice could improve.

Inspectors said of the Irlam Medical Practice that it worked closely with health and social care professionals to reduce hospital admissions, quality and safety were top priority among all staff, and significant events were recorded and shared with relevant agencies.

CQC chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field said: ‘While we are clearly in the very early stages of ratings these services and there is a long way to go before we have inspected every general practice across the country, this should send an encouraging and inspiring message to providers and to members of the public.’

Read more: from GP's sister website Medeconomics - CQC inspection for GP practices explained

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