Two Telford medical practices praised for providing good access to appointments

27 January 2022

Two medical practices in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have been rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a recent inspection. Stirchley Medical Practice and Woodside Medical Practice, both in Telford, were inspected in early December 2021.

The practices were not warned prior to inspection and were assessed to check effectiveness of access to appointments. These targeted inspections were a response to the Health Secretary's instruction in autumn 2021.

As part of the inspection process, interviews were carried out with the managing partners, GPs and reception staff, and observations were made of patients' experiences of accessing appointments.

Dr Thompson of Woodside Medical Practice said: “We have faced incredible challenges over the last 18 months and are delighted that our medical practice has been awarded the rating of ‘good’. The pandemic has meant that we’ve had to adopt new ways of working, see our patients in different ways to accommodate and meet their needs. We’ve had to adapt to the changes of covid and the demands the pandemic has placed upon us.

“The report confirmed that our patients are still able to access appointments which meet their needs in a timely way. We currently offer a range of appointment types whether on the phone, video call or face-to-face; accommodating patient choice. Patients can see other healthcare professionals such as a nurse practitioner, if appropriate, and we always prioritise those with the most urgent care needs.

“This inspection report has been very reaffirming that we continue to provide good care to our patients. All our staff work extremely hard to help patients, so we’re really pleased and reassured as a team with the result of the report.”

Dr Innes of Stirchley Medical Practice commented: “Our medical practice data shows that we received a 300% increase in call volumes within the last year; this is a huge rise. It placed a lot of pressure on our staff, but the inspection report shows that we’ve dealt with the increase in appointment demand in an organised, timely and effective way. We have increased our face-to-face appointments and our telephone appointments to see a clinician year-on-year, despite the pandemic.

“We’re meeting the needs of patients by offering a variety of appointment types, making sure that we prioritise those who need the most urgent care and supporting people who experience communication barriers, such as limited access to phone or the internet. We will always see patients face-to-face, where needed, and there are other health experts at the practice who may be able to help patients sooner.”

The report also revealed that both medical practices have systems in place to monitor access to appointments and to make improvements where needed.

Claire Parker, Director of Partnerships at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Woodside Medical Practice and Stirchley Medical Centre have been rated as ‘good’. GP practices in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are working hard to offer appointments to local people.

“Remember, GPs might be working differently, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccination programme, but you will always be seen in the most appropriate way for your needs. You can also access 111 online (111.nhs.uk) or by phone, and visit your local pharmacy for non-emergency health concerns.”

The CQC - Care Quality Commission - is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. When the CQC inspects GP practices, it gives them a rating. You can visit the CQC website for further information.

Page last updated 27 January 2022