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Smethwick surgery surges to 'good' rating less than a year after being put in special measures

By George Makin | Smethwick | News | Published:

A Smethwick surgery which was previously deemed inadequate by health inspectors has surged to a ‘good’ rating in less than a year.

The Norvic Family Practice, in Sandwell. Photo: Google Maps

The Norvic Family Practice was placed in special measures last year by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – with the warning if it failed to improve it could lose its registration.

The practice runs the Victoria Health Centre on Suffrage Street and a branch site located in Norman Road which both care for some 9,000 patients.

In a report published in August 2018, inspectors highlighted patient safety saying ‘there was insufficient attention to safeguarding children’ with staff not recognising or respond appropriately to possible concerns.

In addition they found ‘patients were at risk of harm because systems and processes were not in place to keep them safe’.

Criticising its management, they added: “The practice had no clear leadership structure, insufficient leadership capacity and limited formal governance arrangements.”

But following an inspection in June this year, inspectors found it had carried out an improvement plan to meet its legal requirements.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, chief inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, said: “We rated the practice as good for providing safe, caring, responsive and well led services because the practice had adequate systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen. When incidents did happen, the practice learned from them and improved their processes.

“Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect and this aligned with the positive feedback we received from patients.”

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In four main areas of safety, caring, management and responsiveness inspectors described services as good but added the effectiveness of care and treatment still needed to improve.

The practice is currently managed by four GP partners and also employs a salaried doctor. They are supported by two practice nurses, one healthcare assistant, a practice manager and a team of administrative and clerical staff.

Norvic Family Practice has been contacted for comment.

George Makin

By George Makin
@GeorgePMakin

Local Democracy Reporter covering Sandwell and Dudley.

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