Following an announced comprehensive inspection at Sollershott Surgery on 18 July 2019 as part of their national inspection programme, the CQC gave the Practice – which has around 5,100 patients – an overall rating of “requires improvement.”
The CQC noted the Practice had focused on developing its work in relation to several key areas such as permanent staffing levels for greater continuity of care, working protocols, the management of patients with long-term conditions, medicines monitoring and patient access. It was also acknowledged that for patients with the most complex needs, the Practice GPs worked with other health and care professionals to deliver a coordinated package of care.
Sollershott Surgery was rated “Good“ in three out of five key areas for all population groups:
Caring services, because:
- Patients received effective care and treatment that met their needs.
Responsive services, because:
- Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect and involved them in decisions about their care.
Effective services, because:
- The Practice organised and delivered services to meet patients’ needs.
but was said to require improvement for having Safe and Well-Led services.
We are obviously disappointed by the report but we fully accept its findings – indeed we have already taken a number of steps to make the required improvements, particularly in areas such as personnel management and administrative monitoring systems which impacted very heavily on the two areas of the report which required improvement.
For example, a new member of staff joined us before the inspection and had not completed all their higher levels of mandatory training modules in safeguarding. This had a major bearing on us being deemed to require improvement in the area of safety. We have had a real drive on training and are pleased to report that we are now fully compliant in this area. The surgery’s training policy has also been updated to ensure that all staff complete the required training during their induction.
We are pleased that the report recognises that our services are both caring, responsive and effective. The care we give our patients is obviously the uppermost priority of every member of our staff – from the doctors and nurses to the receptionists; and the report acknowledges that our staff treat patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
In support of this, we are also pleased to note that, in the latest National Patient Survey published in July 2019, 94.1% of our patients stated they had confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw at Sollershott Surgery.
The last year has been a challenging one for us, as we have had to put in place new clinical and management processes and a new clinical software system since we took over the surgery in July last year from a care-taker provider whilst also seeing the departure of a number of key administrative staff. However, we have, in a relatively short period of time and at a time of national shortage of primary care clinicians, successfully recruited a new team of highly experienced, permanent clinical staff to replace what was previously a wholly locum-based team of GPs and nurses; creating a stable, clinical workforce in the surgery for the first time in almost three years.
We have positively addressed the issues raised by the CQC and are very confident that, when the inspectors return, they will quickly see all the improvements that have been made. In fact, if they visited us today, they would see that the majority of the improvements are already in place.
There has never been greater pressure or demand on primary care than there are today – not just locally but nationally. However, we have a great team in place now for moving forward, and, working alongside our NHS partners, we want to re-assure all our patients that we will never stop striving for further and ongoing improvements to ensure that we continue to offer them the very best services than we can at the heart of the community we serve.