Surgeries improve ratings to 'good' in latest inspection

July 28 2022

TWO surgeries that were told they needed to improve by healthcare inspectors last year have now been rated 'good' overall.

The Care Quality Commission visited Leap Valley Medical Centre in Beaufort Road, Downend, and Emersons Green Medical Centre in St Luke's Close – both of which are run by Green Valleys Health Group - in May.

The inspector reported identical ratings for both centres: good overall, with good ratings for safety, effectiveness, care and leadership.

But both still required improvement in the area of responsiveness to people's needs – including accessing help by phone.

Green Valleys Health said the new ratings, following inspections a year previously which found both practices required improvement, showed that they had been on a "journey of improvement".

The CQC report on Leap Valley said: "The practice had acted upon the areas we highlighted as in need of improvement at our previous inspection.

"The practice provided care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm.

"Patients received effective care and treatment that met their needs.

"Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect, and involved them in decisions about their care.

"The way the practice was led and managed promoted the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care."

Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care Dr Rosie Benneyworth, who wrote the report, said the rating for care at the practice had been carried over from last year's inspection, when it was the only area that did not require improvement.

However she issued four recommendations for both practices, including improving phone access, staff training and monitoring of risk.

Writing in the report on Emersons Green Health Centre, she said: "The practice responded to patient feedback about access by implementing new systems to monitor call volume and offer additional electronic consultations. However, concerns continued to be raised by patients regarding access to the service by telephone.

"The provider should continue to monitor access to the practice by telephone and continue to develop and embed measures taken to improve patient access."

Responding to the report, Green Valleys Health said in a statement: "The CQC awarded both Leap Valley Medical Centre and Emerson Green Medical Centre an overall rating of ‘good’, but with some improvement needed in one area.

"In response to this we are in the process of recruitment to increase our staffing levels, which will improve our response rate and help to alleviate the sustained demands on the operation of both centres.

"We would like to highlight the fact that a previous CQC inspection had issued a ‘requires improvement’ overall, so to achieve a ‘good’ overall demonstrates the journey of improvement which the practice is on."