CQC Takes GP Practice Out of Special Measures Following Introduction of Robust Governance

Wensum Valley Medical Practice in West Earlham, Norwich was given an overall rating of Inadequate by the CQC in July 2017 and placed into special measures after concerns were raised with regard to the leadership and safety of the practice.

The latest inspection which took place in March 2018 concluded the practice had addressed all areas of concern. It has now been awarded an overall rating of Good across all five areas for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Inspectors found that since the original inspection the practice had taken significant steps to improve leadership, with a focus on improving the quality and safety of its services to patients.

Examples of key findings and improvements, included:

  • Clinical leadership has improved, all partners have been involved and practice staff told inspectors that they had been included in the development of the action plan and changes that were made.
  • The process to manage medicines prescribed to patients has improved. A fully electronic system giving a clear audit trail of changes and clinical oversight has been implemented.
  • The practice has been proactive since the previous inspection and has provided staff with ongoing support. This included an induction process, one-to-one meetings, appraisals, coaching and mentoring, clinical supervision and support for revalidation.
  • The process to manage medicines prescribed to patients has been improved.  A fully electronic system giving a clear audit trail of changes and clinical oversight has been implemented.
  • Practice staff told inspectors that the improvements made following the previous inspection had been successful.  They said they felt they were undertaking their work in a safer and more organised manner.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said “During the latest inspection we found the provider had significantly strengthened their leadership and management and had taken a proactive team approach towards making and sustaining improvements in quality.

“The practice now has a clear vision and strategy to deliver high-quality care and promote good outcomes for patients. Practice staff were clear about the vision and their responsibilities in relation to it.

“We saw that practice staff worked together as a cohesive team and treated patients with kindness and respect, and maintained patient and information confidentiality.

“It is clear that the practice took our findings seriously, seeking external advice to help it improve and working hard to implement the necessary changes. All of the staff should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and I applaud the dedication and commitment they have shown to improving the care of their patients.”

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