Top marks handed to caring GPs and for innovative ideas

A Suffolk GP surgery has been rated as Outstanding following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold was found to be providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service that meets the needs of the population it serves.

Janet Williamson, deputy chief inspector of general practice and dentistry in CQC’s Central region, said: “Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment.

“We found many positive examples to demonstrate how patient’s’ choices and preferences were valued and acted on. In addition, views of external stakeholders were very positive and aligned with our findings.

“There was a clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management.

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“The practice proactively sought feedback from staff and patients, which it acted on.

“Staff also understood and fulfilled their responsibilities to raise concerns, and to report incidents and near misses. Information about safety was recorded, monitored, appropriately reviewed and addressed.

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“All of this hard work pays off in making a real difference to patients.”

The inspection highlighted a number of areas of outstanding practice, including the work of the Southwold Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) project in supporting the complex needs of the older population, particularly those over 85.

The practice was in discussions with the clinical commission group for an adjoining plot of land to be developed into the Sole Bay Health and Care Home to extend the CSIP’s work.

The practice had also instigated the Sole Bay Care Fund, a charity run by trustees to provide short-term emergency care, resources and equipment not normally funded by the NHS or Social Services to help patients with an acute medical or social care need, reducing some unnecessary hospital admissions.

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