A GP practice has been given the top rating by inspectors for its service in the community.
Collingwood Surgery, in North Shields, has been rated outstanding by inspectors at the Care Quality Commission.
Alison Holbourn, deputy chief inspector of general practice at the CQC, said: “It is clear that Collingwood Surgery is providing a responsive and well-led service which is an asset to people living in North Shields.
“To get rated as outstanding is a real achievement.
“We saw a forward-thinking practice that was very responsive to the needs of people using their services. They understood the needs of their population and implemented initiatives to ensure they were being met.
“It was very impressive to see the end-of-life care arrangements that the practice had developed over many years, and these plans were well promoted to staff that knew how to use them.
“They were also part of a pilot to link patients on the palliative care register to a MacMillan social worker. This project was so successful that it was rolled out to all practices within the CCG area.
“I was also impressed with the work that Collingwood Surgery was doing for patients experiencing poor mental health.”
“The practice helped to fund a mental health worker who worked full time within the surgery ensuring that 95 per cent of patients with mental health problems were seen within the practice rather than in secondary care.
“This is a great example of what outstanding care looks like.”
Inspectors found several areas of good practice.
The practice team was forward thinking and part of local and national pilot schemes to improve outcomes for patients. For example, the practice took part in the first phase of the national Health Foundation’s MAGIC programme (‘making good decisions in collaboration’), which looked at how to embed best practice in shared decision making.
Patients said they were able to get an appointment with a GP when they needed one, with urgent appointments available the same day.