Published: 14 December, 2017

Preston Urgent Care Service has been rated Good overall with an Outstanding rating for leadership, in a recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.

The urgent care centre, which is operated by gtd healthcare on behalf of the NHS, has been highly commended for providing safe, effective and caring services and which are responsive to people’s needs, with an outstanding rating awarded to services being well-led.

In particular, the inspectors commented on how "the service had a clear vision and strategy to deliver high quality care and promote good outcomes for patients” and "staff treated patients with kindness and respect".

David Beckett, gtd healthcare’s chief executive, said he is delighted with the CQC rating.

"I am incredibly proud of all the staff who work tirelessly at both Preston and Chorley Urgent Care Centres to provide the best possible service to patients,” he said.

"This outcome really demonstrates staff commitment and drive to provide an Integrated Urgent Care Service that evidently has patients at the core of all activity.

"Providing a service that is clinically safe and offers the best possible experience for the patient population of Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble is our number one priority and so to receive this rating reinforces our values and is incredibly important to us.

"Chorley Urgent Care Centre has also been inspected by the CQC and we expect a similar outcome, which again demonstrates the robust and comprehensive services that operate from both sites.”

As part of the CQC inspection, 27 patients completed comment cards, which were left by inspectors at Preston Urgent Care Centre. Of those completed, 25 comments were positive about the standard of care received while the remaining two were in relation to the emergency department. Patients commented on the "helpfulness and friendliness of staff and of the high quality service".

The inspectors noted outstanding practice in ensuring "patients’ individual needs and preferences were central to the planning and delivery of the service” along with the opportunity offered to staff to "bid for innovations that would benefit the organisation or the local community".

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

  • An open and transparent approach to safety and a system in place for reporting and recording significant events
  • The service business plan and strategy put patients at the centre of service developments
  • Clearly defined and embedded systems to minimise risks to patient safety, including ensuring patients are safe if they cannot be seen immediately by a clinician
  • Staff have been trained to provide patients with the skills and knowledge to deliver effective care and treatment
  • gtd healthcare is proactive in seeking patient and staff feedback and has used surveys and listening days to learn how services can be improved; the patient journey is central to shaping services
  • The service has good facilities
  • There is a clear leadership structure and staff feel supported by management

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.