Gosport surgeries achieve ‘Good’ rating with CQC
A recent inspection by the UK’s national health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has rated The Willow Group in Gosport as ‘Good’.
The inspection found that the service ‘had a culture which drove high quality sustainable care’ and praised The Willow Group's approach to seeking out and embedding new and more sustainable models of care in the area.
Declining numbers of GPs have hit primary care services hard in the last few years. This has been felt particularly in Gosport where a number of surgeries have struggled to meet demand and was one of the key reasons behind Brune Medical Centre, Forton Medical Centre, Waterside Medical Centre and Stoke Road Medical Centre pooling resources to form The Willow Group in 2017, preventing them from closing.
The Willow Group is committed to developing new models of care to deliver services to meet patient need. They created services such as the Same Day Access Service, Long-term Conditions Hub, Home Visiting Service and pilots such as the Complex Care Team, which was able to show a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions through a more holistic community based package of care.
Dr Robin Harlow is a Clinical Director and lead GP for the Willow Group, he said: “Getting a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC is really important to us as it reflects the commitment and hard work of all of our team to deliver high quality patient care.”
The Willow Group has faced criticism as it struggles to meet demand, with patients highlighting access as a key issue. Rather than shy away from the problem, The Willow Group regularly engages with its patients and has worked with them to find solutions. The CQC praised their “consistent engagement with patients” and noted that “rigorous and constructive challenge from people who use services, the public and stakeholders” was welcomed by the team. As part of their continued commitment to enhance the care they provide, staff and patients recently attended a Quality Improvement workshop to co-produce better ways of working, based on the feedback the service receives and the knowledge of all those who deliver and receive the care.
Dr Harlow added: “Listening to our patients, using their feedback, and working with them to improve our services is vital for us. We are committed to being the best we can be and get just as frustrated as our patients when things aren’t working or take longer to fix than we anticipate.” As one of only a handful of surgeries in the country providing primary care ‘at scale’ The Willow Group continues to evolve and refine its services, regularly engaging with patients on social media and through its Patient Participation Group. It has also been visited by senior leaders from across the health sector to learn more about how it has adapted to meet the unique challenges it faces. Local MP and Minister of State for Health Caroline Dinenage also visited the group last month to look at some of its services, meet the team and talk through some of its improvements.
Published 12/04/2019 - DC