Learning from the best - CQC Inspections

Published: 05 May 2015 Originally Published: May 5, 2015 by Practice Index in CQC The Care Quality Commission has published another batch of reports on the quality of care provided by GP practices that have been inspected under its new approach. Always interesting reading, the reports provide practice managers with plenty of insight regarding what’s working well at practices – and what’s not so good of course! Practice Index has trawled through the latest reports to find examples of what the inspectors particularly liked at the ‘outstanding’ practices.

Collaborative working

CQC inspectors like to see examples of collaborative working. One practice was praised for its innovative approach to working with other agencies to improve outcomes for patients. Significant challenges were overcome by the practice, which facilitated well co-ordinated safeguarding and management of patients with complex care needs. Social services were able to use the practice facilities for safeguarding strategy meetings, which had further enhanced working relationships and patients – particularly women experiencing domestic violence – were able to access discreet, face to face social care support at the practice once a week. The same practice held monthly multidisciplinary meetings, which included hospital specialists from the palliative care team. The practice knew that it was difficult for patients needing palliative care support to travel to the local hospice approximately 25 miles away, so had facilitated the building of a satellite day hospice on land owned by the practice.

Excellent ongoing care

Another initiative that scored highly was a practice policy of follow-up calls to patients leaving hospital. Being able to demonstrate that 100% of all patients newly discharged from hospital following an emergency admission were contacted within 24 hours by GPs from the practice, to ensure they had received appropriate care, treatment and support, helped an outstanding mark to be achieved. Long-term conditions A recent inspection praised a practice for significantly improving access to support for patients living with long-term conditions and their carers. The Memory Matters programme run by the Alzheimer’s society was hosted at the practice, enabling carers and patients to attend when they would otherwise be unable to travel the relatively long distance to the local towns.

Understanding location

Continuing the above theme, CQC inspectors look for evidence that practice procedures are adapted to meet the needs of the patient list – it’s all about understanding patients. One rural practice was praised for hosting specialist clinics at the practice for procedures normally offered at the main hospital (29 miles away). These include diabetic retinal screening (held 3-4 times a year) and regular specialist hospital nurse appointments for patients with complex diabetes and leg ulcer treatment. Access for working patients is facilitated through early morning appointments and the hosting of weekend clinics for flu vaccination throughout the winter months. Patients were able to request repeat prescriptions and appointments online and text messaging was used for appointment reminders and blood test results.

Continuity of care

In addition to the specialist clinics mentioned above, another outstanding practice was praised for the introduction of a children’s immunisation and vaccination programme. Yet another practice proactively engaged in research and clinical studies to inform good practice and look at new ways to improve outcomes for patients. An example quoted showed how a practice involved in lung and asthma studies had been able to better help patients and reduce episodes of acute exacerbation.

Another GP provided a free acupuncture clinic for patients with various conditions such as muscular-skel