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CQC health check ‘good’ news for Collingwood Medical Group patients

Collingwood Medical Group in Blyth has been awarded a ‘good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection earlier this year.

The CQC report for Collingwood Medical Group rates the practice as ‘good’ for delivering safe, caring, effective and well-led services which are responsive to people’s needs. The practice, which serves just under 5,000 patients in the Blyth area, has expanded and strengthened its clinical team over the past year, with support from the management team at Northumbria Primary Care (NPC) Ltd.

This includes nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists and sexual health doctors working alongside GPs to enhance services traditionally provided by a GP alone. Working together, this new multi-skilled team aims to ensure patients can get an appointment with the most appropriate health professional for their condition whilst also focussing on improving quality of care for patients.

Patients at Collingwood Medical Practice said they felt treated with compassion, dignity and respect and were involved in decisions about their care. The report highlights that staff felt well supported by management and worked well with other health care professionals to understand and meet the range and complexity of patients’ needs.

One area of outstanding practice highlighted was the introduction of a weekly ward round at a local care home for patients with advanced dementia. During these visits, by the same GP each week, patients’ care plans are reviewed and their families have the opportunity to speak to the GP if they wish.

As well as the care offered to patients, the report also identified the positive support offered to their carers, with the practice staff signposting them to appropriate advice and offering them a flu vaccination.

Dr Pippa Male, executive GP for Collingwood Medical Group, said: “This is great news for our patients. We’re delighted the CQC has recognised the work that we have been doing over the past year. We’ve worked hard to strengthen our clinical team and have highly-skilled health professionals to ensure that patients get care from the most appropriate person. This includes nurse practitioners and clinical pharmacists as well as a specialist women’s health practitioner

“A new centralised appointment system has improved access to our services, with more patients able to get advice on the same day and an urgent appointment if required. We will continue to work to improve access to routine GP appointments and have already reviewed our phone system to ensure this is the case.

“We already offer a range of appointments to try and suit our patients, such as longer appointments for those with more complex needs and availability outside of school and working hours, as well as telephone consultations.

“We will continue to offer patients appointments with the most appropriate healthcare professional for their condition.”

The practice joined Northumbria Primary Care in 2015, a partnership between local GP surgeries and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which now provides support to six GP practices across Northumberland and North Tyneside.  NPC aims to support general practice by providing many of the professional support functions which are needed to run an effective service in today’s NHS.

Dr Nigel Twelves, clinical director of NPC, said: “The staff at Collingwood Medical Group have done a fantastic job to ensure that patients at the practice can receive the best possible care. This team is highly-skilled, diverse, and dedicated to providing the best possible care for patients.

“We’re proud to have a true partnership approach with local GPs, this is so important as we all must work much more closely, between all parts of the health and care system, to provide the best possible care for patients. This is reflected in the findings of the report which acknowledged that the practice had strong partnership working with other organisations and the local community to ensure services met patients’ needs”

Set up in April 2015, NPC now manages six GP practices with around 40,000 registered patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside. It provides everyday support to deliver corporate functions, enabling family doctors to focus on providing care to patients.  Other NPC practices include:

Patients at these practices have seen major improvements since becoming part of NPC, including increased access to same-day appointments and a new centralised booking service which has improved access even further.  For more information visit www.northumbriaprimarycare.co.uk.

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