A doctors’ surgery in Brighton has been rated as outstanding by the official health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
In a report published today (Monday 18 March) the CQC praised Arch Healthcare, in Morley Street, Brighton, where Dr Tim Worthley is the registered manager.
The practice – run by a community interest company (CIC) called Arch Health – specialises in caring for homeless people.
The CIC was started three years ago and has been running the homeless integrated care service for Brighton and Hove since February 2017.
Arch chief executive Gary Bishop said: “We are obviously delighted with this result and according to the CQC website we are one of relatively few surgeries to have achieved this rating.”
The surgery was awarded an overall rating of outstanding and was assessed as outstanding in all five areas of inspection – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.
Mr Bishop said: “These inspections are an extremely demanding and rigorous process which take place at short notice.
“Three CQC inspectors spent a long day with our team looking at the finer detail of our systems, processes and practices as well as our patient engagement and organisational culture.”
The inspection, on Monday 28 January, was Arch Healthcare’s first CQC visit, and Steve Field, the chief inspector of general practice, said that “patient outcomes had improved” since Arch took over running the surgery.
The CIC took over the Morley Street surgery after the previous owner, the Practice Group, pulled out of five doctors’ surgeries in Brighton and Hove after the NHS changed the terms of its contract.
Describing the improvements for patients and the NHS under Arch, Professor Field said: “There was evidence of reduced accident and emergency attendance and a 32 per cent reduction in unplanned admissions and a 42 per cent reduction in readmissions to hospital.”
As well as being better for patients, this meant a much lower burden on taxpayers.
Mr Bishop said: “The last three years have taken a great deal of dedication from all our staff all our staff and we are so pleased that their hard work has been recognised by this inspection.
“We are extremely proud of every member of our team for what they have created and the service which they provide day in and day out.
“It was a great privilege to be able to share with inspectors the incredible collaborative work which happens across many organisations for the homeless community of Brighton and Hove.
“We recognise that Arch really is dependent on so many others in the city and are grateful to everyone who is working to support the health and wellbeing of homeless patients.
“Our vision at Arch is ‘to explore every opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of homeless and vulnerable people’.
“We have always believed that those who are most vulnerable in our city deserve the very best care. That is exactly what we’ve been striving for and we are delighted that our team has been recognised by the CQC as providing outstanding care for our patients.
“We hope this can become a catalyst for the Brighton and Hove Homeless Health Centre which we dream of establishing.”
To read the report, click here.