On January 10th 2013 The surgery at 102 The Avenue as a service provider were registered by the Care Quality Commission under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
We were aware that one day we would be having an inspection and since that time we have been working together to improve the environment, train our staff, formulate policies such as how to act in the event of a fire, bomb alert, infection control, staff employment, needle stick injury etc
Initially, when inspections were performed they seemed intrusive and a negative experience and were heavily criticised. We faced the thought of an inspection with fear and intrepidation so that during this time we have been working hard to meet the requirements.
Subsequently, they have set out a new vision and direction for the Care Quality Commission in their Strategy for 2013- 2016, raising standards and putting people first and in their recent consultation ‘A new start’, which proposes radical changes to the way they regulate health and social care services. The changes were developed with extensive engagement with the public, CQC staff, providers and key organisations. They has been strong support for the introduction of Chief Inspectors; expert inspection teams; ratings to help people choose care; a focus on highlighting good practice; and a commitment to listen better to the views and experiences of people who use services. They also claim there is strong support for the new framework, principles and operating model that they will use, which include the five key questions they will ask of services:
Are they safe?
Are they effective?
Are they caring?
Are they responsive?
Are they well-led?
Two weeks ago we were informed that the day had arrived for our inspection. On Tuesday January 20th 3 inspectors arrived, a GP, a retired Nurse Practitioner and an Administrator greeted by both doctors : firstly , I was asked to give a summary of what I felt we did best and they listened intently, making notes. Following this they sat together to formulate a plan of action and then soon after infiltrated the surgery individually talking to all members of staff and patients who attended by request but also to patients waiting to be seen by clinicians. The atmosphere in the surgery remained calm and they remained unobtrusive. The staff were interviewed but still continued to deal with patients in their usual caring, efficient manner. We, as doctors were fired with numerous questions from their prompt sheets as were Mary, our practice nurse and Sangeeta, the practice manager.
At the end of the day Dr Livingston and myself were summoned to their presence and we are very pleased to say that the overall assessment was extremely favourable except for a few minor comments, such as the fact that patients did not know how to complain ( despite the fact that is written on out practice leaflet and on our website) hence we need a poster!
Also, had we thought of installing a defibrillator ?
We want to express our heart- felt thanks to all our loyal staff, who always work hard and deliver an excellent service to our patients and this was noticed by the inspectors. Also, a thank you to those patients who showed their support by talking to the inspectors on the day or writing positive comments on the CQC cards.
The final completed report will be available in about two months time and will be posted on the following website