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Sutherland Lodge GP surgery in Chelmsford receives ‘good’ rating following improvements and investment

Patients at Chelmsford’s Sutherland Lodge GP surgery are treated with ‘kindness and respect’ and managers have “the capacity and skills to deliver high quality, sustainable care”, according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The comments follow an inspection on 7 October 2019, where inspectors said they noticed a clear improvement in performance at the surgery and gave it an overall ‘good’ rating.

The inspectors added that the culture at the centre ‘supported high quality sustainable care’, according to their report published today (2 December 2019). They scored the key areas of ‘safe, ‘effective’, ‘responsive’ and ‘well-led’ as ‘good’.

In regards to the inspection categories of ‘caring’, the report scored this as ‘requires improvement’. This was due to data from the GP patient survey – undertaken in early 2019 – showing patient satisfaction was below local and national averages for three of the questions asked.

Sutherland Lodge is one of four GP surgeries in Essex that Virgin Care took over at the same time in 2016 – three of which are in mid-Essex. Following today’s report three of these – Silver End, in Witham, St Luke’s in Southend, and Sutherland Lodge – are now rated as ‘good’.

Virgin Care is pleased with the latest report but work still goes on to drive through more improvement at all its surgeries as it is are committed to providing the best possible patient care. For example, Sutherland Lodge will soon have a new telephone system put in place to make it easier for patients to make contact and book appointments on the phone.

Dr Mohammed Munshi, Regional Clinical Lead GP, said: “We are pleased that the CQC’s inspectors have given Sutherland Lodge a ‘good’ rating after we have made a number of notable improvements.

“They have also made some very encouraging comments about our employees as well as the leadership in place, which is good to hear as it highlights the positive commitment of our colleagues there.

“Three of the four Essex GP surgeries that we took on in mid-2016 are now rated as ‘good’, and this is very satisfying, but we know there is always more to do and we will continue on our mission to drive through continuing improvement.”

Cathy Trevaldwyn, the Chair of Sutherland Lodge’s Patient Participant Group (PPG), added: “The most important feature in the surgery’s progress has been the way a team of staff who work well together has been developed. The patients’ experiences have greatly benefited from this. As Chair of the patients’ group (PPG), it has been rewarding to acknowledge progress by passing on a range of positive comments to them.

“Not every surgery in the area has a democratically established PPG, but this works well with the surgery and patients benefit from it, especially those with dementia, with whom ‘joint-working’ in the surgery’s Memory Group is taking place.”

To view the full CQC report, visit https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-3485884752

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