Published: 8 January, 2018

An Integrated Urgent Care Service, which is accessible to a patient population of more than 390,000 across Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, has been rated Good overall with an Outstanding rating for leadership, in recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections.

The latest CQC inspection has seen Chorley Urgent Care Centre being awarded the rating by the CQC, which is operated by gtd healthcare, and follows the same outcome for Preston Urgent Care Centre.

Outstanding practices were recognised at Chorley Urgent Care Centre in relation to how "patients’ individual needs and preferences were central to the planning and delivery of services” and "the service leadership offered all staff a chance every year to bid for innovations that would benefit the organisation or the local community”.

Key to the CQC report and contributing factors to positive patient experience were the inspectors noting that "staff treated people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect” and "patients told us that they appreciated the service and praised the staff who cared for them”.

David Beckett, gtd healthcare’s chief executive, said this is a fantastic achievement for staff who work as part of the Integrated Urgent Care Service and the organisation as a whole.

"I am delighted with the inspection outcome as it really reflects the consistent levels of high quality care, particularly as the inspectors highlighted that "patients received co-ordinated and person-centred care”, which reinforces our values, particularly that of putting patients first,” he said.

"Staff work incredibly hard to provide a comprehensive service for the patient population of Greater Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and beyond. Being awarded a Good rating with an Outstanding element for both Preston and Chorley Urgent Care Centres demonstrates our focus is on delivering patient centric and clinically safe services that offer the best possible experience for patients.”

As part of the CQC inspection, patients completed comment cards, which were left by inspectors at Chorley Urgent Care Centre. Of those completed, 90% were positive about the service experienced, with almost 60% of the comment cards specifically praising the "speed and efficiency of the service with many commenting on the caring nature of staff”.

Additional areas of good practice that were highlighted in the report include:

  • "The service had comprehensive systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen”
  • "The service routinely and frequently reviewed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provided”
  • "Patients were generally able to access care and treatment from the service within an appropriate timescale for their needs”
  • "The service focused on the needs of patients. Managers told us that patients’ needs were central to the organisation”
  • "There was a proactive approach to managing the skill mix of staff needed to provide the best care to patients”
  • "Staff felt respected valued and supported”
  • "The service had clear systems in place to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse”
  • "There were systems to assess, monitor and manage risks to patient safety”
  • "Staff had the information they needed to deliver safe care and treatment to patients”

Efforts to continuously improve services to patients have been highlighted in the report, including contracting a new Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) screening service to provide full leg screening (instead of half leg screening), and the introduction of blood tests for patients with a suspected DVT, which aim to have a positive impact on patient experience.

gtd healthcare, a not-for-profit provider of primary care, urgent care and out-of-hours dental services across North West England, has been successfully operating the Integrated Urgent Care Service from Chorley Hospital and Royal Preston Hospital since November 2016. Phase 1 saw the implementation of the Out-of-Hours Service, Deep Vein Thrombosis Service and, in conjunction with North West Ambulance Service, a Pathways Alternative to Transport Service. This was followed by phase 2 in January 2017 and comprised 24/7 urgent care centres at both hospital sites.

The full CQC report is available here.