The Wensum Valley Medical Practice in Norwich is celebrating after a resounding ‘thumbs up’ from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC has just rated the practice Good in every category it inspected. The CQC asks ‘are services safe, caring, effective, responsive and well led?’ And their answer for Wensum Valley is yes, in every respect.
The partners at Wensum Valley Medical Practice said: “We are thrilled to receive this rating from the CQC and we are enormously proud of our staff who have worked so hard to achieve it.
“We want to provide great care for our patients and getting a good CQC rating demonstrates we have the professional approach and systems in place to do so.”
Wensum Valley Medical Practice looks after about 12,500 patients in the Earlham area of Norwich from three surgeries: West Earlham surgery, Bates Green surgery and Adelaide Street surgery.
It received an ‘inadequate’ rating from the CQC in September, which was tough for the staff and partners. Even before that was made public by the CQC, the practice swung into action to turn things around.
They recruited a new practice manager, Jan Hardinge, who is well known and respected in the Norwich area, and an experienced pair of hands. Jan said: “I joined a team that was already focussed on making all improvements required. Nothing is more important than the service and care we offer our patients and we hope this CQC rating demonstrates our commitment to that.”
Improvements made by Wensum Valley included strengthening its clinical leadership, putting strengthened clinical controls in place and making sure it had the right policies and procedures in place. So when the CQC re-inspected in March, they found Wensum Valley Medical Practice not only better than seven months ago but able to demonstrate it too.
The CQC’s report hcan be read here:
In it the CQC says: “The practice team were proud of the improvements they had made and that it had already reflected in improved services for patients. They were confident that they would continue to improve and had built systems and processes that were sustainable.
“The practice showed evidence that they had been responsive to the findings of the previous report and had made significant improvements. The clinical leadership had been improved, all partners had been involved and practice staff we spoke with told us that they had been included in the development of the action plan and had been fully engaged in the changes made.”
The CQC acknowledged the challenges that people in the Earlham of area face. It says 27% of the population is under the age of 18 and that income deprivation affecting children and older people is double the local area and England average.
NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group has supported Wensum Valley to prepare for the CQC re-inspection. Chief Nurse Karen Watts said: “All of us at Norwich CCG are so very pleased that Wensum Valley have received such a good rating from the CQC.
“We have been truly impressed with the commitment and determination shown by the whole practice team to achieve this and it has been a pleasure for our quality team to have been able to support the practice during this journey.”