Lancashire GP surgery rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission 

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by the Beacon Primary Care in Skelmersdale, Lancashire as Outstanding following an inspection in May 2015.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.    

The inspection team, which included a GP and a practice manager as specialist advisors, rated the services provided by Beacon Primary Care as Outstanding for older people, people with long-term conditions, people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable, and those experiencing poor mental health.  A full report of the inspection has been published today at:

The practice operates across three sites and has more than 11,600 registered patients. Inspectors visited the practice’s main site at Sandy Lane Health Centre and the site on Railway Road in Ormskirk.

The report from this inspection highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The practice had introduced ‘Patient Friends’ who were reception staff available throughout the day to review and discuss any problems with patient’s and help resolve issues quickly.  
  • The practice had designed a Personalised Care Plan for older patients which demonstrated a holistic approach to avoiding unplanned admission to hospital. This included a frailty assessment tool that reflected national good practice and a detailed personal medical history including advanced care planning details. 
  • The practice used the skills of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) to carry out minor surgical procedures in line with their registration and NICE guidance. The outcomes from patients accessing this service were closely monitored by the practice. 
  • Appointments and repeat prescriptions could be obtained online and the practice also provided patients with online access to their full medical records. At the time of the inspection records showed 1167 patients from the 11650 registered patients actively accessed their records on a regular basis. 

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the North, said:

“It is clear that Beacon Primary Care is providing an effective, responsive and well-led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Lancashire. Feedback from patients was overwhelmingly positive and many commented that staff listened to them and acted on their suggestions.”