Lister Medical Centre taken out of special measures

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Lister Medical Centre in Abercrombie Way, Harlow, has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the improvements made to patient services since its last inspection.

The CQC announced its new rating recently, taking the practice out of ‘special measures’ and rating it as ‘requires improvement’.

Since its original inspection in May 2022, the practice has worked closely with the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) on a host of changes, including improving access to appointments for patients, recruiting new members of staff and putting in place robust processes to improve patient safety.

Dr Cyrus Fernandes partner at Lister Medical Centre, said: “We are thrilled that the hard work of staff and support of our patients has enabled us to make changes in the practice that will benefit everyone.

“The CQC has confirmed we are making progress. There is still much work to do but we are confident we can achieve this as a team and with the continued support of, and engagement with our patients.”

In the last 11 months the practice has:

  • recruited a nurse, additional members to the reception team, one health care assistant and two additional GPs
  • made changes to its existing telephone lines to reduce call waiting times for patients, improving access and also enabling patients to request a callback from reception
  • gathered regular feedback from patients through patient surveys – the results of which are publicised on the practice website and used to make further service changes
  • developed an online booking system for specific appointment types to enable those comfortable with using the internet to book their appointments online
  • made the most of the seasonal flu clinics to speak to patients about other health and care services that may be useful to them
  • proactively booked families with young children in for their childhood immunisations early, to encourage uptake of these life-saving vaccinations
  • proactively booked in new patients for cervical screening tests to encourage uptake and spot the signs of cervical cancer early
  • re-established and grown its patient participation group (PPG), which is supporting the practice in its work to improve services
  • put processes and protocols in place to provide more effective care for people with long-term conditions and those who require medication and annual reviews.  Patients are closely monitored by the doctors with the support of an automatic reporting system which flags up any outstanding reviews in a timely way
  • ensured safeguarding training for all staff is prioritised and undertaken, with training monitored on a monthly basis.

The ICB has provided the practice with £40,000 in funding to help support the implementation of some of the work. In addition, the practice has signed up to a national NHS programme to commit to further and ongoing improvements to the practice and its services.

Avni Shah, Director of Primary Care Transformation at the Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB, said: “Really pleased with the outcome from CQC which has taken the practice out of special measures. The team at Lister Medical Centre has worked hard to make changes for the benefit of their patients and staff and are committed to continuing this work in the months and years ahead. The ICB will continue to support the practice in its work.”