Penrith GP surgery rated outstanding

Date: Friday 22nd June 2018
Doctors and staff at the Lakes Medical Practice.
Doctors and staff at the Lakes Medical Practice.

A PENRITH doctors’ surgery has received a glowing report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Lakes Medical Practice was graded “outstanding” following a comprehensive inspection from the official watchdog.

The surgery, at Penrith health centre, was found to be good for being safe, caring and responsive, and outstanding for being effective and well-led. The overall rating was outstanding.

The rating is an improvement on the result of the practice’s previous inspection in November, 2014, when it was graded “good”.

Inspectors who visited the practice in April found patients were treated with kindness, respect and compassion. Staff actively promoted lifestyle advice and were proactive with local schools. Each care home locally had a named doctor.

Inspectors said: “There was a strong focus on continuous learning, improvement and innovation at all levels of the organisation. Staff were heavily invested in their roles and were empowered to develop their skills.”

Of 26 patient comment cards all were positive. An in-house patient survey found 96 per cent had confidence and trust in the GP team. Inspectors said: “Staff were consistent and proactive in supporting people to live healthier lives and this was a priority. Patients received co-ordinated and person-centred care.”

The practice has five GP partners and a salaried GP. Staff include practice nurses, healthcare assistants, a psychotherapist, a frailty nurse and a phlebotomist. It has a patient roll of 10,000, with 16 per cent over the age of 75. This is higher than the Cumbria average of 13 per cent, and the England average of 10 per cent.

Between November, 2017, and March, 2018, doctors held 4,172 face-to-face appointments and 12,000 telephone consultations. Around 1,000 home visits were made in that time and the practice took around 300 calls a day. In the five-month period, nearly 300 people registered to become patients.

The practice was also praised for its ability to respond during major crises such as the recent heavy snow at the end of February and beginning of March.

Its work with older people, working age people, vulnerable people and those with long-term lung conditions was good, and it was found to be outstanding for its work with families, children and young people, and those with poor mental health or dementia. Inspectors found that the practice was the “lowest prescriber of hypnotics in the area.”

It had also reduced prescribing of powerful painkillers. There was a 30 per cent reduction in codeine use and a 42 per cent reduction in Tramadol.

It proactively provided extra support for patients who had undergone terminations, while its emotional wellbeing practitioner helped provide psychotherapy to people. Its cervical screening uptake was found to be very high at 78 per cent — six per cent better than the national average.

It had participated in the Syrian refugee resettlement programme; and staff were trained to help safeguard those who may be at risk of female genital mutilation or being radicalised.

It had a vulnerable people register for people who were homeless, travellers, people with learning disabilities or those from vulnerable families. The report said: “Staff understood their duty to raise concerns and report incidents and near misses.

“Leaders and managers supported them when they did so, and all staff described a genuinely open and honest culture, where the emphasis was on learning points and not blame.”

Dr. Rachel Preston, of the Lakes Medical Practice, said: “It’s fantastic that the practice team has been recognised as outstanding by CQC. All the staff are committed to continuously improving the services we provide for our patients.

“Working with our patient participation group and other NHS services in the area we have been able to develop new roles and ways of working that impressed the inspectors.

“For example, our frailty nurse, working with our housebound and elderly people, our musculoskeletal practitioner helping people with muscle and joint problems, our physicians associate supporting the GPs to assess and treat patients and our clinical team working holistically to enable people self manage long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

“In response to the very real need to support people’s emotional health we have created an emotional health team providing therapy and support for individuals and families.

“We welcome feedback to help improve the service further so please contact us at the surgery or via our website if you have any suggestions or ideas. We truly believe that happy staff, happy patients and better health and wellbeing for us all and look forward to the services we can create together in the future.”