An SSP Health GP practice in one of Wigan’s most challenging areas has been ranked as ‘Outstanding’ by healthcare inspectors.
Marsh Green Medical Practice was given the top accreditation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a comprehensive inspection of the Harrow Road surgery found outstanding care and leadership.
SSP Health took over the running of the practice just a year ago and the CQC inspectors praised the GP federation’s leadership team and the practice managers for being “inspirational, progressive, cohesive and innovative with a mature approach and clear purpose”.
The report says the practice management team are “truly compassionate and caring. Quality and integrity were at the heart of what they did resulting in an exceptional caring culture within a strong practice. Opportunities provided for staff development were exemplary”.
It adds that there is “strong collaboration across all staff and a common focus on engaging with patients and other services to improve quality of care and the patient experience”.
Marsh Green Medical Practice has 3,250 patients and the CQC inspectors highlighted that before SSP Health took charge, medication review rates were “significantly low at 6%”. But now, with “additional GP and pharmacist resources”, 100% of patients on medication are given a review, preventing patients being given medicines which they do not need.
They also praised “several areas of outstanding practice”, including how the surgery increased its cervical screening levels in a deprived area where “historically the practice population was hard to engage”; safeguarding training and giving the local community free access to hygiene and sanitary products.
“The practice had proactively involved themselves in local schemes and initiatives to provide the best possible care for patients and their families,” the report adds.
Inspectors also liked the practice’s ‘positive affirmation cards’ at reception for patients to take away and give them inspiration, with quotes including, “Never lose hope”, “Be strong – because things will get better” and “It may be stormy now, but it never rains forever”.
SSP Health Director and GP, Dr Shikha Pitalia, said: “To be given an ‘Outstanding’ rating at a practice with so many challenges is a magnificent achievement for all our clinical and management staff at Marsh Green and our colleagues across our organisation who support them.
“To have the inspectors acknowledge the excellent healthcare that our practice patients receive is incredibly rewarding and I know our staff care very deeply that they are making a difference to people’s lives.”
SSP Health - founded in Wigan - has been supporting practices of various sizes for 20 years and Dr Pitalia said: “Our federated model of running GP practices means that smaller surgeries which might otherwise risk being closed are kept open with the excellent background support SSP Health’s expert team can offer them. This allows our clinicians and practice teams to focus on patient care.
“We work hard to ensure that the best practice seen at Marsh Green Medical Practice, and our other ‘Outstanding’ practices, is mirrored in all 36 of our GP surgeries that SSP Health runs across the North West.”