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Essex GP surgery rated “Good” by CQC, after two years of improvement

An NHS GP practice in Braintree previously told it required improvement has been rated ‘good’ and taken out of special measures today, after work by Virgin Care and the practice team to improve the service.

The inspection recognised the surgery had improved its workforce in the last 12 months with an action plan by Virgin Care seeing it recruit 3 new salaried GPs, a paramedic, a new Nurse and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. This was found by inspectors to have improved patient satisfaction in relation to the health professionals they see at appointments. In addition, Virgin Care has put more staff on the phones at peak times to book their patients into appointments – a key ask from the practice patients.

A Virgin Care spokesperson for Church Lane surgery said: “This ‘Good’ rating truly reflects the passion and dedication shown by the whole team at the practice to make significant improvements over the last year despite the challenges of the pandemic and while we know there is still more to do, we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved and confident that we will continue improving.”

At the time of the inspection, the CQC noted that there was still improvements to be made to ‘responsive’ but since then the practice team have already made improvements.

For example, the surgery has upgraded their telephone system and added new staff customer service training to make their responsiveness better. A recent patient survey has found improvements for patients calling through to the practice and patients are reporting a more positive experience when making appointments.

Despite the added difficulties the COVID pandemic has brought to people’s lives, the inspection found the surgery had improved clinical outcomes for patients experiencing mental health conditions – including dementia.

Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Peter Taylor, said: “I am immensely proud of the team for their determination to improve the quality of the service delivered at Church Lane Surgery. It’s fantastic to see the CQC has recognised their hard work by rating the service as ‘Good’.

“We welcome this very positive report. The service has progressed well in the past year and the team’s achievements mean that all of our inspected services now have a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating.

“That’s a credit to all colleagues. It shows that we at Virgin Care are focused on continuously improving what we do to help people in our communities really feel the difference, so a big thank you to everyone and let’s maintain our success.”

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