A GP surgery which took on new patients after a nearby practice closed has been handed a boost after it was rated as “outstanding” by health inspectors.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the quality of care provided by Shinwell Medical Centre, in Horden, to be of an excellent standard following an inspection carried out in January.
Inspectors rated the practice as outstanding for responsiveness and well-led, and good for safe, effective and caring, giving them their overall outstanding rating.
CQC’s deputy chief inspector of general practice in the North, Alison Holbourn, said: “Shinwell Medical Centre is an impressive service that consistently responded to local difficulties faced by patients with real commitment to their wellbeing.
“In response to local authority plans to close a community centre in the area, they set up a charitable trust to save it.
“They also successfully took on the contract for another local GP practice that was closing, providing care for an additional 800 patients.
“The feedback we received from people using their services was extremely positive.
“The practice also listened to the feedback people gave and used it to improve their services.
“The practice is extremely well-led, with management always pushing for continuous improvement.
“We saw staff that were highly motivated, going above and beyond what their jobs required to provide outstanding care.”
Among the CQC’s findings was that Shinwell used public health prevention and promotion as a priority for the practice.
This included the setting up of a charity in order to save a local community centre (Roseby Road Wellbeing Centre) which was due for closure.
The practice also worked with other organisations and the local community in planning how services were provided to ensure that they met patients’ needs.
Examples included supporting 10 practices to develop services closer to home for patients.
The nurse practitioner visited primary schools and held a virtual GP surgery which included taking equipment to familiarise children with the environment.
First aid was also discussed with children.
The practice also developed a Saturday opening pilot in Peterlee for 45,000 patients which has now run for two years.
Managing partner at the medical centre Joseph Chandy said: “This is real achievement for the practice and for the community. “Putting patients first has always been our goal.
“The doctors, nurses and staff have worked very hard to gain this achievement and it demonstrates their commitment to the patients.”
Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice, said: “I am delighted to highlight the exceptional service which is being provided by this practice.”