Emersons Green Health Centre wins inspectors’ praise

EMERSONS Green Health Centre provides good quality care in all areas, the health regulator says.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the centre in St Luke’s Close in July.

They were following up an inspection last year which found that, while the surgery provided safe, effective, caring and well-led services, it required improvement in the fifth area rated by inspectors: responsiveness to patients’ needs.

The new CQC report, published in September, said that the GP practice now had a ‘good’ rating for providing responsive services because patients “received effective care and treatment that met their needs” and could access care and treatment “in a timely way”.

The report said: “The provider re-established the Patient Participation Group and introduced new roles in the practice to enhance patient participation and satisfaction.”

It highlighted a new “signposting system” and “care navigators” to help patients find appropriate services and ensure they were all treated equally.

The inspectors added: “There was a team of care coordinators that supported people with long-term conditions, ensuring they have appropriate support and regular reviews as needed.”

The CQC also visited the surgery’s sister practice, Leap Valley Medical Centre in Beaufort Road, Downend, and produced an identical report, rating it good in all areas.

It said both practices, run by Green Valleys Health, should continue improving their services, “particularly in regards to access and patients’ feedback”.

Two years ago the CQC said both practices required improvement overall.

A Green Valley Health spokesperson said: “Both the Partners and the team at Green Valleys are delighted that the efforts and changes put in place over the last few years have come to fruition and Green Valleys have now achieved a ‘Good’ rating. 

“However, we know that there are services that still need to improve, such as wait times with regard to call waiting. 

“Over the next year we have several improvements that will be put in place ensuring that we continue to build on the positive aspects of the CQC report. ”

“As a team we are committed to providing a better experience for our patients to ensure we put them at the heart of everything we do.”

This year’s NHS patient survey found that 85% of patients at Leap Valley and 77% of Emersons Green patients still had problems contacting the surgeries by phone, although this was down from 89% and 98% respectively last year.

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, which is responsible for funding health care, said the results were “very welcome”.

Another practice in the area, Christchurch Family Medical Centre in Downend, has been told it must improve after the CQC said it “did not always provide care that kept patients safe”, highlighting concerns over monitoring of medicines, safety alerts and patients with long-term health conditions.

Downend Health Group, which runs the Christchurch practice and the Willow Surgery, said it was working with the CQC “to implement changes to our systems and processes”.

The practice also apologised last month for  any “misunderstanding or concern” after patients were sent a message telling them they would no longer be able to book appointments with doctors by phone or in person.

The apology came two days after an announcement that all requests for clinical appointments should be made through the online consultations service, eConsult caused an outcry on social media groups.