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A mixed outcome from watchdog inspection for Haverhill GP practice

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A GP practice in Haverhill has been praised for providing a safe and caring service to patients but has been given an overall rating of 'requires improvement' by inspectors.

Officials from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) also noted that since a new phone system has been installed at the Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice the number of patient complaints has dropped significantly.

Patient experience is also generally good, with 98 per cent of patients surveyed reporting their needs were met. This is higher than the national average. The inspection also rated the practice as being well led.

It recognised the well-publicised issues the practice has experienced in recruiting GPs but noted that it has succeeded in recruiting extra clinical staff, such as pharmacists and physiotherapists.

However, the practice did get an overall rating of ‘requiring improvement’, with the current backlog of medication reviews highlighted as one area that must be addressed.

Dr Fiona Andrews, Clinical Lead at Christmas Malting and Clements, which is run by Suffolk GP Federation, said: “We are pleased that the inspection found we offered a safe and caring service which treats patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.

" It is testament to the dedication of all our staff who always seek to do their very best for our patients.

“However, we recognise that there is still more work to do and we have already been addressing some of the issues highlighted in the report.

"Holding extra clinics for example has helped us to make substantial progress in reducing the backlog of medical reviews.

“We are now offering nurse and HCA appointments on Thursday evenings and Saturday morning. We also have GP+ on Saturdays both in Haverhill and Bury.”

Inspectors also referred to the results of the NHS National Patient Survey where 55 per cent of patients rated their overall experience as ‘Good’, compared with the national figure of 84 per cent.

Andy Cutting, Service Manager for the practice added: “We appreciate that patients have had to cope with a lot of change in a relatively short period of time and we would like to thank them for their continued support and understanding.”

The CQC carries out regular planned inspections of GP practices across the country, giving an overall report rating of Inadequate, Requires Improvement, Good or Outstanding.

Individual ratings for Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice were:

· Are services safe? – Good

· Are services effective? – Requires Improvement

· Are services caring? – Good

· Are services responsive to people’s needs? – Good

· Are services well-led? – Good


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