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Darwen GP practice is officially ‘outstanding’

Darwen GP practice is officially ‘outstanding’

Darwen Healthcare practice in Darwen has been rated ‘outstanding’ following their latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The practice located in Darwen Health Centre provides primary medical services to over 12,000 patients and has extended opening hours on Mondays.

The CQC ensures that all health and social care providers deliver safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care. The ratings given to a GP practice also assess whether they are responsive and well-led.

The report on the practice highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

• There was an effective and thorough system in place for reporting, recording and investigating significant events. Lessons were shared to make sure action was taken to improve safety in the practice, and we saw evidence where this resulting action was actively monitored to ensure its effectiveness.
• Staff assessed needs and delivered care in line with current evidence based guidance. Clinical staff delivered care in line with care pathways devised by the practice based on accepted best practice
• The practice was also proactive in working with other healthcare providers to improve patient care. For example, following hospital results not being communicated appropriately back to the practice, staff searched the electronic system to see if this communication breakdown had affected any other patients and found that it had; the practice liaised with the hospital and this resulted in the hospital altering the process by which it cascaded results to ensure it did not happen again.
• Staff treat patients with kindness and respect, and maintain patient and information confidentiality.
• Practice staff reviewed the needs of its local population and engaged with the NHS England Area Team and Clinical Commissioning Group to secure improvements to services where these were identified. GPs with special interests within the practice provided the cardiology service and community anticoagulation service for all patients in the Blackburn with Darwen CCG area.

In addition, the practice is rated outstanding for its’ care of older people, those with long term conditions, those with poor mental health, those whose circumstances make them vulnerable, care of families, children and young people and for the care of working-age people.

Graham Burgess, Chair at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said: “This is a remarkable achievement and is clear that Darwen Healthcare is providing an effective, responsive and well led service which is a real asset to the people living in Darwen. It is clear that their dedication and hard work has paid off and is making a real difference to patients and is what all our health services should be aspiring to.”

Ann Neville, Practice Manager at Darwen Healthcare said: “We are absolutely delighted to have achieved an outstanding CQC rating. It is testament to all our staff that our patients told inspectors they were very happy with the care they receive; they described staff as approachable, committed and caring. We have always strived to provide high quality, clinical care for all our patients. We were delighted by the generous remarks made by our patients; it was satisfying to note that patients confirmed that they are treated with compassion, dignity and respect and are involved in their own care.

“We couldn’t have achieved this rating without the help of other colleagues who work closely with the practice such as district nurses, the treatment room, midwifes, our health visitor, Macmillan nurse, practice pharmacist, agencies such as the Carers Link and also the dedication of our Patient Reference Group who help with patient surveys and meet bi-monthly. It highlights the importance of services working together and where possible from the same location. General Practice is facing an unprecedented increase in its workload, we work closely with our patients and we are grateful to them as our appointment system cannot work without their support; they are very understanding at busy times and are very aware of the current extremely high workload pressures our doctors are facing.”

The practice has also been shortlisted for the following four awards in the General Practice Awards, London 2016:
• Clinical Team of the Year- Respiratory
• Practice Manager of the Year
• Nursing Team of the Year
• Diabetes Team of the Year

The full report can be downloaded on the CQC website at: