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Improvement Update

The CQC and us update

We are committed to improving your surgery and will be keeping you updated here regularly on the changes we are making to ensure you receive the best service and care from us.

 Following on from our last update, where we informed you about changes to recruitment, appointments, the telephone system and repeat prescriptions, our latest update is detailed below.

CQC inspection and report

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the practice on 8 August and published a report into its findings in October, rating the practice as ‘inadequate’. It is important that you are aware that the report findings are based on how the surgery was running in August when inspectors visited. The CQC shared their concerns with us immediately and the team at the practice – supported by our wider organisation – has worked hard to ensure that improvements were made.  Some areas of our improvement plans have been addressed or are in progress and we continue to actively work with our commissioners to ensure that all areas of our Improvement plans are met within set timescales.


Christian Ellwood is fully installed as our new practice manager and is spearheading efforts to continue our improvement work. We are also continuing efforts to bring in more permanent GPs, advanced nurse practitioners and an additional practice nurse.

Referral processes

One of the things we knew we needed to improve upon was the timely handling of referrals. We have made an agreement with an outside organisation to summarise notes and to help speed up our referral process. We have also recruited additional staff and improved our processes to prevent referrals backing up.

Telephone system

We have improved our telephone system to reduce the length of time callers are waiting to get through to us. In February telephone calls were answered within an average of 10 minutes and in September this had been reduced to an average of three minutes.  We will continue to work hard to bring the average wait down.

 Clinical reviews

We have completed a number of reviews into the way we prescribe medicines and monitor patients on high risk drugs. We have provided evidence of improvements to the CQC to demonstrate the safety of our services.

Medicine Use Reviews (MURs)
We have been working hard to identify our patients needing MURs who have not been reviewed within the last twelve months. We will be contacting these patients over the coming weeks to invite them to attend the practice for MURs.

Plan to reduce locum use

We have developed a plan, in tandem with our recruitment drive, to reduce the use of expensive locums and bring in more permanent members of the team. This will not only help to reduce wasted resources but more importantly will ensure greater continuity of care for you, our patients.

September Update

We are committed to improving your surgery and will be keeping you updated here regularly on the changes we are making to ensure you receive the best service and care from us.

We are continuing to recruit more permanent GPs and nurses. In addition Christian Ellwood has joined Church Lane surgery as the new permanent Service Manager.

Overall, we are providing more appointments than we are required to by our commissioners.

You can book appointments with a GP, Nurse or Healthcare Assistant online as we know you have said this is more convenient.

To register for online services you need to fill in a registration form and provide a form of identity. You can also apply for a phone call appointment online.

You can find more information here

Telephone system
We listened to your feedback and have made changes to the way calls are answered. This includes introducing a ‘telephone hub’ with colleagues in a dedicated zone for answering the phones leaving reception staff uninterrupted to deal with face-to-face enquiries.

We are also introducing a simpler call direction message to make it easier and quicker to call the surgery.

Repeat prescriptions
You can also order repeat prescriptions on line.

We are making progress with introducing an electronic prescribing system which will allow us to dispense repeat prescriptions electronically which means the prescription will not need to be hand signed by a clinician. It will be automatically authourised within 48 hours of your request being made and your medication will be available to collect from your nominated pharmacy.