The extended and out of hours GP appointment service for South Tees is celebrating after achieving an overall rating of “Good” from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Inspectors upgraded the South Tees Access Response (STAR) service rating from “Requires Improvement” to “Good” following an announced inspection in March this year.
STAR provides GP appointments on evenings, weekends and bank holidays from four locations in Acklam, North Ormesby, Redcar and Brotton as well as out of hours GP cover for patients requiring urgent home visits.
Patients can request evening and weekend appointments via their own GP surgery, online via their GP surgery’s website or by calling NHS 111 out of hours.
The inspection report recognised significant improvements to the extended and out of hours GP service which provides care to around 290,000 patients across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland.
Inspectors assessed whether services were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led and rated STAR as “Good” across all five areas.
They noted that:
• Staff involved and treated people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
• Patients were able to access care and treatment within an appropriate timescale.
• There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement.
Jan Randall, chief executive for ELM Alliance Ltd which runs the STAR service, said: “This is a fantastic achievement which has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from all of our staff and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us secure this well-deserved and greatly improved outcome.
“We have implemented a lot of changes since the STAR service was first introduced in April 2017 and this rating really is testament to how far we have come.
“It is great to see that all of the patient comments received were positive. This is also reflected in the results of our own patient satisfaction survey in which 96% of the 200 patients questioned said they would recommend our service to family and friends.
“If you are struggling to get an appointment at your own GP practice or you can’t get there during the day due to work commitments you can ask your GP surgery or NHS 111 to make you an evening or weekend appointment with STAR.”
The full inspection report can be viewed on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk