GP surgeries: Is yours one of the best in Cumbria?
Standards of care in GP surgeries across Cumbria are among the best in the country, according to the government's health watchdog.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission rated 12 of the county's 65 doctor's surgeries as outstanding - the highest acclaim possible - while the remaining 53 were judged to be good.
It means patients across Cumbria have better access to the best quality of care compared to other parts of the country, where 10 per cent of practices are rated as requiring improvement or inadequate.
The area's outstanding practices include Court Thorn Surgery at Low Hesket near Carlisle, Norwood Surgery in Barrow and Maryport GP Practice.
Waterloo Surgery in Millom, which became the first in the country to bring senior medics from Furness General Hospital in as senior partners, has also earned the top award.
GP care in the south of Cumbria is bought in by the Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.
Barrow GP, Dr Geoff Jolliffe, added: "The national CQC report has highlighted that we are working in the right direction across Morecambe Bay to meet the needs of the local population.
"It’s fantastic that all residents in Cumbria now have access to a good or outstanding GP surgery, at a time when many surgeries are under pressure."
Dr David Rogers of the Cumbria CCG. Photo: John Story
Dr David Rogers, medical director for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group - the organisation that buys in GP services for residents in the north of the county, said: "We know that across the UK GP services are under enormous pressure and for our GPs to be rated so well against the national results shows that they are delivering high quality services despite the challenging times.
"I hope patients are reassured by these good results."
Dr Geoff Jolliffe
The national report from the CQC provides the most comprehensive analysis yet of the care available to residents across Cumbria.
It found four per cent of the country's GP practices overall were found to be outstanding by inspectors, 86 per cent were good, eight per cent require improvement and two per cent are inadequate.
Professor Steve Field, the CQC's chief inspector of general practice, said: "This is the first time that we have such a detailed national view of the quality of general practice in England, made possible through CQC’s regulation.
"Having inspected and rated 7,365 general practices across the country, we have found that the clear majority are safe and of a high quality.
"Where we identified concerns, most practices have taken action and improved.
"GPs, practice managers and other primary care staff should be commended for their efforts."
Now, GP surgeries rated as good or above can expect to be reinspected at intervals of up to five years.
Those that are inadequate or require improvement will be reinspected at either six or 12 months.
Cumbria has 12 practices judged to be outstanding - the highest rating possible.
Alston Medical Practice, Alston
Coniston Medical Practice, Coniston
Court Thorn Surgery, Low Hesket, Carlisle
Distington Surgery, near Workington
Drs Irving, Smith, Hacking and Rylance, Milnthorpe
Dr S Milligan and Dr H Lovatt, Cartmel, near Grange-over-Sands
Maryport GP Practice, Maryport
Norwood Medical Centre, Barrow
Nutwood Medical Practice, Grange-over-Sands
Upper Eden Medical Practice, Kirkby Stephen
Waterloo House Surgery, Millom
Wigton GP Medical practice, Wigton
The Care Quality Commission acts as a watchdog on standards of care for health services and the NHS.
Teams of inspectors from the CQC assess all aspects of health and care organisations, including hospitals and dentists, before judging them to be either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.