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A Sheffield GP practice recently awarded the highest possible ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been leading the way in supporting patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Porter Brook Medical Practice in Sharrow has been contacting all of their vulnerable and at risk patients and referring them to their dedicated ‘social prescriber’ who helps patients with finding the support they need during this difficult time, whether that be ensuring they have groceries, linking-up to support groups or helping with mental health. They also have mental health workers providing additional support to patients with mental health needs.  In addition, the practice is identifying and contacting all of their housebound patients to check in on them.

The practice is also offering video consultations where appropriate so when patients are at home they can still speak to someone face-to-face. They also have a whole range of resources on their website for people who need help with coping during isolation, from managing your mood and anxiety to setting goals to get you through. These resources can be accessed by anyone across the city: https://www.porterbrookmedicalcentre.co.uk/

The practice was inspected by the CQC in December 2019 before coronavirus outbreak and is the only practice in Sheffield to have achieved the overall ‘Outstanding’ rating so far.

The CQC said the practice was ‘outstanding' because they had developed services in response to their patients, particularly students and people experiencing poor mental health and there is a proactive approach to understanding the needs of different groups of people and to deliver care in a way that meets their needs.

They also said that the practice provides well-led services and high-quality, person centred care and that practice staff are innovative. Also, feedback from patients is continually positive about the way the practice responds to patients’ needs.

Dr Nikki Bates, Senior Partner at Porter Brook Medical Practice and Elected GP Board Member at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said, “We are extremely proud to have achieved this outstanding rating from CQC. We have worked very hard over a number of years to develop bespoke services, particularly for our patients who are students at Sheffield Hallam University. We are delighted to be recognised for the innovative partnership working we have championed for students across the City. I would like to pay tribute to all of our practice team, who take on every challenge and who have been instrumental in our success.

“We now face the biggest challenge we have ever faced as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic. It is understandable that during times like this people may be feeling worried or overwhelmed, which is why we are doing everything we can to support our patients through this difficult time.”

Dr Terry Hudsen, GP and Chair of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group said, “The practice has worked very hard to achieve this rating and it’s clear they are providing an exemplary service to the people living in the area they serve.”

Claire Gandy, Director of Student Support Services at Sheffield Hallam University said “The University would like to congratulate the practice on this achievement.  We have a strong partnership with the practice to support our students’ health and wellbeing and are very grateful for the ongoing efforts of staff in continuing to provide a high quality service at this very challenging time.”

You can read the full report on the CQC website - search for ‘Porter Brook Medical Practice’ or click https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-567907532#accordion-1