An Ellesmere Port town GP practice has had a ‘Good’ finding from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog.

Chief Inspector of General Practice Prof Steve Field wrote to the Westminster Surgery Centre on Church Parade with the good news following an announced comprehensive inspection.

The centre has been run by the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust since July, 2015. It has around 2,700 patients.

Staff include a salaried GP, a nurse clinician, a practice nurse, a health care assistant, a clinical manager and admin and reception staff.

The centre opens from 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday with an extended hour’s service for routine appointments and an out of hours service. It also offers a range of enhanced services.

Inspectors found the centre has systems in place to reduce risks to patient safety including carrying out equipment checks and procedures to control infection and keep the premises clean as examples.

The surgery saw a major extension to the premises by the NHS in 2016, doubling in size.

The Westminster GP practice in Ellesmere Port which has doubled in size thanks to an NHS project to provide more surgeries and waiting space. Pic provided by NHS
The Westminster GP practice in Ellesmere Port

It provides diagnostic and screening procedures, family planning services, maternity and midwifery services and services for patients including treating disease, disorder or injury.

Apart from the ‘Good’ overall rating that the centre is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, the CQC gave the green light to the centre’s treatment of older people, people with long term conditions, families, children and young people, working age people including those recently retired and students, people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable and those experiencing poor mental health including patients with dementia.

Staff understand and fulfil their responsibilities to raise concerns and report incidents and near misses and are aware of procedures for safeguarding patients from the risk of abuse.

Patients’ needs are assessed and care planned and delivered following best practice guidance.

Staff feel supported and have access to training and development opportunities. They have received training appropriate to their roles.

Patients say they are treated with compassion, dignity and respect and the CQC saw staff treating patients with kindness and respect.

Services are planned and delivered to take into account the needs of different patient groups and access to the service provided by the practice is monitored to ensure it meets the needs of patients.

There are arrangements to manage complaints and also to monitor and improve the quality of the service.

In their detailed report the CQC says services for carers are publicised and the practice hosts a regular debt advice and housing advice drop in.

For people experiencing poor mental health including patients with dementia the GPs work with specialist services to review care and to ensure patients receive the support they need.

The national GP patient survey in 2016 showed the centre was generally performing in-line with local and national averages with an above average 95% saying the GP was good at listening.

Comment cards completed by patients were all positive about the standard of care received.

Following the inspection the CQC made a number of suggestions for improvements.