Clitheroe medical practices rated ‘outstanding’

Practice managers Phil Mileham and Linda Underwood celebrate with staff as they have been awarded 'outstanding' in a recent CPC inspection, at Clitheroe Health Centre.

Practice managers Phil Mileham and Linda Underwood celebrate with staff as they have been awarded 'outstanding' in a recent CPC inspection, at Clitheroe Health Centre.

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Health chiefs agree, Clitheroe Health Centre’s two medical practices are “outstanding”.

In fact, The Castle Medical Group and Pendleside Medical Practice, are so good that they are in the top three per cent of practices nationally to be given the rating from the Care Quality Commission.

Different inspectors spent a day at both practices during two separate inspections carried out by the CQC in January.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

The inspection teams were led by a CQC lead inspector and included a GP, a member of the public with practice management experience as specialist advisors and an expert by experience.

The Castle Medical Group surgery, which serves around 14,360 people, and Pendleside Medical Practice, which serves around 9,850 patients, were found to treat patients with dignity and respect and feedback about both services was consistently positive. Castle was also commended for its GPs frequently visiting a local boarding school to provide medical support to the resident children and carry out supervision and appraisals for the nurses at the school to ensure their competence and continued professional development.

Both practices were also praised for working closely with other local GPs and health care professionals to share best practice, while Castle’s inspector found that it was proactive in gathering patient feedback and adapting the service when chances to improve were identified. GPs at Castle also sought to deliver high quality, patient-centred, care and treatment which was supported by all staff at the practice and promoted a good continuity of care.

Sue McMillan, deputy chief inspector of general practice in the North, said: “We found that The Castle Medical Group was working hard to provide people with consistently high quality care and treatment and it is a real asset to the people living in this part of Lancashire.

“When we visited the practice we were particularly impressed with the joint working with other GPs and health care professionals to ensure consistent high quality care was provided in the community, but the collaborative work done to treat patients, who had a specific heart condition, atrial fibrillation, was outstanding. As well as the commitment of all staff to continuously seek improved outcomes for local people.”

“Pendleside Medical Practice was found to be proactive in gathering patient’s views on their care, and where improvements could be made it implemented changes to better improve patient outcomes. The practice’s close work with other GPs and health care professionals was also found to help develop a consistent standard of health care in the local community, and practice staff were supported to identify and review patient health care conditions that were not routinely monitored – as a result patients were offered comprehensive care and treatment.

Sue McMillan added: “We found that Pendleside Medical Practice is providing an outstanding service for the people in this part of Lancashire. We were particularly impressed with the practice’s joint working with other GPs and health care professionals to develop a consistently high standard of care in the local community. As well as the commitment of all staff to continuously seek improved outcomes for local people.”

She said that both practices are clearly well thought of by their patients and that both perform highly in patient surveys about the care and treatment they provide. Those the inspectors spoke to also said they were treated with respect, dignity and compassion.

She said of both practices: “This is a great example of what outstanding care looks like.”

Phil Mileham, managing partner of The Castle Medical Group, and Linda Underwood, Pendleside Medical Practice manager, said: “Both practices are particularly delighted to have achieved this outstanding rating from the CQC, and we are especially grateful to all those staff members who help support the practices based here in Clitheroe Health Centre. Whilst the CQC especially commended the way that both practices work well together, they also acknowledged the excellent work done by the dispensary staff, treatment room and community nurses, in providing care to all our patients. We could not have done it without them.”