Published on: 17th March 2020

Salford’s evening and weekend provision of appointments with GPs and other health professionals is Good, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC, which regulates health and social care in England, inspected the Salford Wide Extended Access Pilot (SWEAP) earlier in the year.

SWEAP is run by Salford Primary Care Together and this scheme ensures anyone registered with a Salford GP practice has access to evening and weekend appointments with a GP or other primary care health professional, for example, a practice nurse.

These appointments take place on a week day evening and on a Saturday and Sunday morning at five community locations: Pendleton Gateway, Walkden Gateway, Eccles Gateway, Swinton Gateway and Newbury Place Health Centre in Broughton.

The appointments are booked via the patient’s own reception team at their registered practice. Every month approximately 2,000 Salford patients access an appointment via SWEAP. This has steadily increased since SWEAP was first introduced in Salford in the summer of 2017.

The CQC inspected the service between January 10 and January 16, 2020, as part of its routine programme inspection and found that SWEAP provided a ‘Good’ service in respect of all five of its key areas: Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsiveness, Well-Led.

Reporting back in their formal report, inspectors praised:

  • Streated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect
  • Patients were able to access care and treatment within an appropriate timescale for their needs
  • Clear system in place for patients accessing appointments
  • Good systems to manage risks so that safety incidents were less likely to happen and when they did happen, lessons were learned
  • Good communication between staff
  • Routine reviews of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care provided to patients
  • Good awareness amongst staff of policies and procedures to support them in their role
  • Strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation

Salford Primary Care Together Chief Executive Lance Gardner said: “SWEAP performs a very important role in providing additional GP services into the evening and at weekends for members of the public who struggle to access their GP during traditional surgery times, perhaps because of work or caring responsibilities.

“I am really proud of the team at Salford Primary Care Together who are responsible for this fantastic service for the city – and I hope they are very proud of themselves. Their achievement in delivering this service to such a high standard is particularly impressive when considering that they have to use a variety of buildings, various IT systems and coordinate services for 42 GP practices.”

Steve Dixon, Chief Accountable Officer of Salford CCG, said: “I’m pleased that the Salford wide extended access pilot has received a ‘Good’ CQC rating, providing high quality GP appointments at convenient times for Salford patients.

“It is our role as commissioners to make sure people in Salford have access to the best healthcare services. Having weekend and evening primary care appointments that offer another option to patients with work and family commitments is key to this. Putting off visiting a GP can put people’s health and wellbeing at risk, which is something Salford CCG and Salford Primary Care Together work hard to prevent.”o read the full inspection report go to www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-2217734879