Pharmacist helps Warwickshire GP surgery to outstanding CQC rating

A part-time pharmacist was one of the factors that led to the Castle Medical Centre in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, to be rated outstanding by the CQC.

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, in March 2015 is available at the CQC website.

The report is one of 37 published on recent practice inspections, including 29 practices rated as good, four rated as requiring improvement, three rated as outstanding and one rated Inadequate.

Under the CQC’s inspection programme, all of England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. The two other practices rated outstanding in this latest round were the Reeth Medical Centre in Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, and Langley Health Centre in Slough CCG.

Why the practice was rated as outstanding

The report on The Castle Medical Centre highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The practice had effective assessment, care planning and recall arrangements for patients with long term conditions. Their emergency admission rates for a number of long term conditions including chronic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were significantly below the national average.

  • The practice team included a part time pharmacist employed by the practice to support the clinicians in providing safe and effective medicines management. Their role included supporting the GPs and nurses with pharmacy advice and reviewing medication safety alerts to make sure these were acted on in a timely way.

  • The practice attended a weekly multi-disciplinary meeting at a local care home that was involved in an early discharge from hospital initiative. One of the GPs visited patients staying at the home under this scheme every day.

  • Appointments for older patients’ health reviews were 30 minutes long and hour-long appointments were booked for those most at risk.

GP trainees felt valued and supported by practice

Janet Williamson, deputy chief inspector of general practice and dentistry in the CQC’s central region said: 'It is clear The Castle Medical Centre is providing an effective, responsive and well led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Warwickshire.

'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. GP trainees that the inspectors spoke with described an open and flexible working environment where they felt supported by the partners and were always able to ask for advice.

'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.'

Find out how a practice in Cumbria achieved an outstanding CQC rating - and learn from the practice manager's tips - in this free guide on Medeconomics.

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