Published: 30 October, 2023

Elmwood Medical Centre in Buxton, has made a significant U-turn after receiving a new rating of Good overall, just seven months after being placed into special measures by the Care Quality Commission.

Staff have been applauded for transforming the practice with the CQC inspector praising the team’s enormous efforts while NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board recognised that there have not been many instances nationally where practices move from Special measures to Good in such a short timeframe.

David Beckett, chief executive of gtd healthcare, the organisation that manages the practice, echo’s the feedback received to date.

“The team’s outstanding commitment to driving forwards improvements, and their enthusiasm and determination to ensuring Elmwood Medical Centre is considered as the best provider of primary care services possible, has resulted in a really positive outcome,” he said.

“A central focus of the improvement programme has always been to make sure patients receive the highest quality and safest care. I am delighted to see that this aim is being achieved and recognised in the report, which emphasises that:

  • the practice provides care in a way that keeps patients safe and protects them from avoidable harm;
  • patients receive effective care and treatment that meet their needs;
  • staff deal with patients with kindness and respect and involve them in decisions about their care;
  • the way the practice is led and managed promotes the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care.

“Achieving a Good rating overall and in the areas of safe, effective, caring and well-led is testimony to the team’s positivity for overcoming challenges and having the drive to embed new ways of working, systems and processes to benefit patients and wider team.”

Professor Dean Howells, chief nursing officer, NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, said this is a tremendous effort and the team should be incredibly proud of their achievements.

“The team must be commended for their commitment as turning the practice around in just seven months is a significant milestone that should be recognised,” he said.

“It is evident, through my close working with the practice and the team, that the focus on outcomes for our patients has been a vital part of the improvements that have taken place over recent months and we will continue to see further improvements as we move forward.”

The practice has been rated Requires improvement in the area of responsiveness, which is a reflection on the national patient survey conducted earlier this year, when significant challenges were being experienced. Positive patient feedback has increased significantly since, over the past few months, and through engagement via the patient participation group, open days and excellent progress being made to develop services and the team, it is evident that everyone is determined to improve and excel in this area.

Delivering on its promise of providing patients with the best care possible and striving to improve services is a fundamental priority for the practice. A comprehensive plan that maps out how the practice will drive continuous improvement alongside focusing on its future growth is in place to ensure its long-term stability.

Key developments already underway include the recruitment of a permanent female GP and a clinical pharmacist, along with increasing patient access to services, progressing with cosmetic work to the building and the provision of regular patient engagement activities. This forms part of a wider, long-term programme of work for the next few years and beyond, which demonstrates gtd healthcare's commitment to ensuring that the practice achieves its goal of providing stability and high-quality patient-centred care.