Walton Surgery rated ‘Good’ in all areas by the Care Quality Commission

Walton Surgery in Felixstowe has been rated as ‘Good’ in all areas by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It is the first inspection the practice has received since being taken over by Suffolk GP Federation at the end of last year.

Areas praised by inspectors included patient safety, service effectiveness and management of services. Patients spoken to by the CQC also highlighted a number of service improvements.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice for the CQC, comments in the report: “Patients we spoke with said they found it easy to make an appointment and there was a continuity of care, with urgent appointments available the same day.”

He also commended the practice for having a clear leadership structure.

“Practice staff told us the clinical lead GP and practice manager had involved them in developing their practice vision and future development plans to offer greater services to their patients,” Prof Field said in the report.

“A detailed practice improvement plan was used to ensure improvements were being made in a timely way and any risks updated regularly. The practice and Suffolk GP Federation reviewed this plan regularly.”

Since taking on the management of Walton Surgery, Suffolk GP Federation has helped re-structure the practice’s systems and policies to improve the effectiveness of patient care.

A recent NHS GP Patient Survey  also found 97% of patients rated the care they received at Walton Surgery as ‘Good’ –  well ahead of the national average of 85%.

Dr Imaad Khalid, Clinical Lead at Walton Surgery, who has been overseeing the changes, said: “The results of the inspection reflect the continuous hard work of practice staff who have been excellent during the integration of new policies and procedures.

“Looking ahead, there is a real sense of opportunity as the surgery looks to build stronger links within the community and continuously evolve our services.”

The CQC highlighted that the practice can further improve by continuously monitoring the training of staff and embedding policies that encourage service improvements.

Dr Paul Driscoll, Suffolk GP Federation Medical Director, said: “We welcome the report which shows we are moving in the right direction, but we are not complacent. We recognise there is room for improvement and we will work on the areas highlighted by the inspector.”

The surgery works with Howard House and Haven Health surgeries in Felixstowe to provide a joint ‘On the Day’ and home visiting service where workloads are shared to reduce pressures on primary care in the town.

It also offers Suffolk GP Federation’s GP+ service, which provides extra appointments for patients during evenings and weekends at several locations in Suffolk including Felixstowe.