AT Medics is a leading provider of primary health care services in London and recently achieved an “Outstanding” Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating for its Streatham High Practice, making it one of only two practices in London to achieve this distinguished accolade under the CQCs new inspection approach. Nationally, just 24 practices have been rated as “Outstanding”.
Lead GP Directors, Dr H A Abbasi and Dr T F Radwan have been clinical leads since 2006 when they took over Streatham High Practice from a single handed GP. The practice has since been relocated to new modern premises, patient registrations have grown from 2,300 to over 14,000 patients and the practice also delivers training for postgraduate nurses, medical students, foundation doctors and specialist trainee GPs. Streatham High Practice achieved the Royal College of General Practitioners Quality Practice Award in 2013, the highest award bestowed by the college for quality in primary care.
CQC’s new programme of inspections of England based GP practices focusses on rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. Inspectors rated Streatham High Practice outstanding for being well led and responsive to people’s needs.
Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, said: “We found that the Streatham High Surgery is providing an Outstanding service, particularly for people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable.
“I was particularly impressed with practice’s work to initiate positive service improvements for patients. We found that staff demonstrated a sound understanding of the differing needs of their patients and acted on these needs in the planning and delivery of its services.
“The GPs and staff at Streatham High Surgery have demonstrated a real commitment to their patients.
“All of this hard work and dedication pays off in making a real difference for their patients – which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding.”
Dr H A Abbasi, Lead GP Director at Streatham High Practice, said:
“Our ethos is based upon delivering high quality care focussed on patient needs and safety. AT Medics and its practices in general push the boundaries of clinical improvement by implementing quality systems and continually reviewing and investing in training and education of our staff. It is this ethos that has led to our rating and we see the same trends throughout our practices, as an organisation that truly has its patients and quality care at the forefront of its service delivery.
“AT Medics Streatham High Practice is accredited by Investors in People; and that’s exactly what we do. We invest in our staff to develop their capacity and skills, encouraging a collaborative environment between our administration and clinical staff, and we nurture this environment through well run and regular clinical and staff meetings.
“We also invest in learning more about our patients. We work closely with our PPG to learn where changes need to be made and the effectiveness of our current services, as well as paying close attention to vulnerable groups and how we can help to improve their care. We have a dedicated member of staff who works with the PPG, enabling the group to function effectively and to encourage utilisation of skills within our patient population to help others. An example of this was a meeting run by the patient group to teach fellow patients how to use online services. We also work very closely with the wider multi-disciplinary team and hold regular meetings to discuss ways of resolving the needs of patients with complex problems in a coordinated way.”
Dr T F Radwan, Lead GP Director at Streatham High Practice, said:
“Managers should be visionary and need to take a medium to long term view when considering the developmental aims of their practice. They must work closely with administrative and clinical staff in order to be abreast of what patients are saying to be better able to respond to their needs and concerns. We are also privileged to have achieved the RCGP QPA Award at Streatham High Practice, which recognised the commitment of our entire team to providing high quality care for patients within a learning and adaptive environment – this is the model that we would encourage other practices and practice managers to adopt, aiming for holistic improvement through collaborative efforts.”
The CQC report highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:
Inspectors found the practice held a register of patients living in vulnerable circumstances including people of no fixed abode and those with a learning disability. The practice was committed to meeting the needs of vulnerable people, and provided a caring and responsive service for them. Alerts were placed on these patients’ records so that staff were aware they might need to be prioritised for appointments and offered additional attention, such as longer appointments.
CQC observed practice offered a number of online services, including booking and cancelling appointments, requesting repeat medicines, sending secure messages to the practice, viewing medical record and updating patient details.
The practice was responsive to the needs of older people, and offered home visits and rapid access appointments for those with complex healthcare needs.
The practice carried out proactive succession planning. Staff were supported to train and develop beyond their roles, and move into positions with greater responsibilities. There was good and constructive engagement with staff and a high level of staff satisfaction.
Management in Practice: How to get an outstanding CQC rating.