JUST six months after an Ilminster GP surgery was landed with the worst possible CQC rating staff have completed a miraculous turn around.

Summervale Surgery, based in the Ilminster Health Centre off Canal Way, was rated ‘Inadequate’ after an inspection in August of last year.

The doctors was even placed under special measures by the Care Quality Commission, the health services’ equivalent of Ofsted.

But a new inspection completed on February 26 has found the staff at Summervale Surgery have managed to turn things around, and gave the centre a ‘Good’ rating.

This has even been described as a ‘most remarkable achievement’ by the Somerset CCG, the local authority.

Tim Deegan, senior GP partner at Summervale, said: “It has been made possible by real dedication, professionalism and sheer hard work on the part of our new practice manager, our staff and the partners.”

The CQC inspection seeks to answer five questions: Are services safe? Are services effective? Are services caring? Are services responsive? And, are services well-led?

The latest inspection rated Summervale as ‘Good’ in every area.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, chief inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, said: “This service was placed in special measures in August 2019 in order for the provider to take steps to improve the quality of the services it provided.

“I am taking this service out of special measures. This recognizes the significant improvements made to the quality of care provided by this service.”

The report added: “In August 2019 we rated the provider as inadequate for safe as we found the practice did not have clear systems and processes to manage risks and protect people from harm.

“We found the practice had taken appropriate actions to ensure systems and processes were safe and in line with national guidance.

“During our previous inspection (August 2019), staff told us there was a backlog of patient referrals to secondary care and the process did not prioritise urgent referrals.

“At this inspection, we spoke to staff and checked the system for referrals.

“We found no outstanding urgent referrals.

“Staff told us there had been considerable improvement and they no longer felt unable to manage the process.”

Although the latest inspection was carried out in February, the report was published last week.

Dr Deegan added: “Since our August 2019 inspection the partners have been determined to improve our CQC rating in the knowledge that patient health and service are our priority.

“It is extremely important that our patients and the wider community know that we can offer excellent healthcare services.

“Our staff have been extremely supportive and hard-working to help us achieve this.

“We have been diligent in maintaining our caring approach to patients.”

Since being placed under special measures, the surgery has overhauled policies and procedures including staff training, complaints procedure and recruitment.

“We have also reviewed our safeguarding procedures to ensure that vulnerable patient groups such as children and the elderly are protected,” Dr Deegan said.

“We recruited a new Practice Manager who has been instrumental in leading the changes and who has helped the partners maintain a fair and consistent management style through positive, forward-thinking leadership of the practice.

“Communication with our staff and patients is paramount, we have strongly engaged with our staff to provide clear, consistent leadership whilst also engaging with our Patient Participation Group.”

Summervale has employed an experienced advanced nurse practioner, who is also the nurse team lead.