GP surgery ‘overcomes difficult circumstances’ with outstanding rating

Harleston Medical Practice has been rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. Photo: Arch

Harleston Medical Practice has been rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

A town surgery has bounced back from a poor Care Quality Commission report to be rated as 'outstanding'.

Harleston Medical Practice, also known as Bullock Fair Surgery, was awarded the top rating on March 1.

Previously enjoying an 'outstanding' result in 2016, the practice hit a low point in 2017 when it was found it did not have 'clear oversight' of the Hepatitis B immunity of staff, and the system for recording when children did not attend hospital appointments was not well maintained.

However the latest report from the CQC found the surgery, which is used by around 8,270 people, had overcome 'previous difficult circumstances and the disappointment of the 'requires improvement' rating'.

It said: 'They had reflected and planned and ensured they and the practice staff were motivated to make, further improve and sustain the improvements needed.

'People were protected by a strong comprehensive safety system, and a focus on openness, transparency and learning when things go wrong.'

The report also said that staff ensured face-to-face reviews were made even if it involved multiple visits to people's homes.

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Maria Flood, practice manager, said: 'This rating reflects the efforts the Practice team have made over the last year to act upon patient feedback in relation to access and contacting the surgery by telephone through the implementation of our new appointment and phone systems.

'It also recognises our work on various areas of clinical focus such as sepsis and cancer screening uptake.

'We acknowledge that there is scope for further improvement. We endeavour to improve patient satisfaction further and continue with existing and new areas of clinical focus based upon our patients health needs.'

The practice was rated 'good' for caring and responsive services.

Other aspects of the surgery's practices the report found praiseworthy included an 'open culture' in which all safety concerns raised by staff and patients were highly valued as being 'integral to learning and improvement'.

The practice is one of a only couple of hundred medical centres that have received the top rating out of the 6,000 which have been inspected by the CQC.