Doctors and staff at the Waterloo House Surgery in Millom are celebrating as they become one of the few practices in Cumbria to be awarded the highly prestigious Royal College of General Practitioners Practice Accreditation (RCGP).
The RCGP Practice Accreditation award is a thoroughly tested framework that enables practice teams to improve the quality of care for their patients. Staff at the Waterloo House Surgery began their journey towards accreditation in 2012 and carried out a number of reviews to help them reach their goal over a period of two years.
One of the reviews the practice carried out looked at the care and support offered to carers. Patients and outside agencies where appropriate, were included as part of the review so that services could be improved for everyone. Various practical initiatives have now been put in place including regular contact with the Carers Association, an information board with drop in sessions and the Waterloo House Surgery also has a Carers Champion in place.
The medical practice now has ‘quality improvement’ meetings every six months and issues covered include reviews of services and patient suggestions. The practice is also developing a patient group.
Practice Manager, Alison Redshaw, said: “We have worked really hard to achieve the RCGP Practice Accreditation and it has been a real team effort with all staff being involved. It has been an extremely useful exercise that has led to many improvements in the practice that is to the benefit of patients. One of the most important things about participating in the programme is making sure that the change is embedded, so that it leads to continual improvement rather than being a one-off tick box exercise. I am really pleased and very proud that the practice has achieved this highly recognised award.”
GP Practices within Furness are supported by the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Furness locality team. Practice Accreditation is a quality standard aimed and tailored specifically for General Practice. The straightforward process is designed to be manageable for practices of all sizes and practices that decide to go for accreditation will start to see immediate benefits as they progress.
The standards reflect key aspects of primary care, particularly the organisational systems and processes that ensure delivery of safe and quality care, facilitate on-going team development and recognise the contribution to quality improvement that can be made by the whole practice team.
The Practice Accreditation standards have been developed in partnership with the University of Manchester and in collaboration with the General Medical Council, Royal College of Nursing, Care Quality Commission, Department of Health, NHS Confederation Primary Care Trusts and Patient Groups.
Dr Fola Adebayo from Waterloo House Surgery, said: “Over the past 12 months we have faced some real challenges including; GP recruitment difficulties and moving the practice into Millom Community Hospital. To be awarded the Royal College of General Practitioners Practice Accreditation is a fantastic achievement and I would like to thank the staff and the community for their support through some challenging times. The practice will continue to work closely with all the local health providers to provide high quality, safe effective healthcare for the people of Millom.”