Dr David Crichton’s blog: Outstanding rating for the second year

It’s not only Doncaster schoolchildren who are getting end of year reports – some local NHS organisations have been learning how they have been marked too.

I’m delighted that the organisation I chair – NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – has been rated ‘Outstanding’ for the second year on the trot.

It’s a great tribute to our staff and the local organisations we work with on your behalf. We’re one of only 20 of the more than 200 CCGs in the country to receive this rating from NHS England for our work in the year just gone.

We’re also one of only 11 CCGs in the country to collect two ‘Outstanding’ ratings in succession.

Ratings aren’t everything and we are certainly not complacent or resting on our laurels as there is much more to be done. We are continually striving to improve local healthcare for Doncaster patients and this rating indicates that we are heading in the right direction.

One area of local healthcare that we as a CCG are putting a special focus on is primary care, which is the help and support you receive from your GP surgery.

Primary care is the first place of contact for most Doncaster people who have a health problem and local surgeries account for more than 90 per cent of patient contacts with the NHS.

GP practices are under a lot of pressure to meet the ever-rising demands put on them and it’s sometimes difficult for them to keep their heads above water. This is why I’m really pleased to report that Doncaster’s 41 practices are seen to be performing well.

Mexborough Health Centre has recently been inspected by Government’s health ‘watchdog’ the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which gave the practice a ‘Good’ rating. It had previously been classified as ‘Requires Improvement’.

This means that all Doncaster’s GP practices now have a CQC rating of either Good or Outstanding, which is an excellent position to be in.

The CQC inspectors were particularly impressed with the Creative Well-Being Group, which is run by volunteers from the practice’s Patient Participation Group. They support vulnerable patients who, for example, have dementia, a mental illness or learning disability, providing a friendly setting for them to socialise twice a month and make cards, hanging baskets and other items.

Scott Practice staff celebrate their success

Meanwhile, the Scott Practice – which with 14,000 patients is the second biggest in Doncaster – has just been given an ‘outstanding’ rating by CQC, after previously being assessed as ‘good’. It’s the fifth GP practice in the borough to achieve this accolade.

Well done to the Scott Practice and Mexborough HC. This is great news for health care in Doncaster.​