‘Outstanding’ rating from health watchdog

Virgin Care’s Anchor Homeless Centre in Coventry has achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, for its holistic approach to patient care, in which the service was recognised for meeting the emotional well-being and social needs of their patient base as well as their physical health.

In their inspection, the CQC praised the practice for tailoring services to meet the needs of individual people and delivering it in a way to ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care.

The service was also commended for funding a number of additional services on top of those the local NHS commissions. Initiatives include small gestures such as free fruit and clean clothes to bigger schemes, such as drop-in sessions with counsellors and legal advisers.

Before its inspection in January 2017, the CQC asked for comment cards to be completed by patients prior to their inspection. These were all positive about the standard of care received and patients who were interviewed during the inspection said they found colleagues to be “approachable, committed and caring”.

The CQC acknowledged the evidence that demonstrated a number of patients had been supported by the practice to gain full time employment and housing.

The CQC carries out inspections throughout England to make sure hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and quality care.

The Anchor Centre, which is run by Virgin Care, provides high quality primary healthcare services to vulnerable people in Coventry who may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Overall, the Anchor Centre’s services and team was rated ‘outstanding’ in the categories of ‘caring’, ‘responsive’ and ‘well-led’, and ‘good’ in the categories on safety and effectiveness.

Sarah Emsden, Lead Nurse at the Anchor Centre, said: “We are delighted with the Care Quality Commission’s inspection report, but it is of equal importance that our service users give us the same seal of approval. Investing in our patients and ensuring they have access to a diverse range of services and support means we are able see an improvement in not only their health outcomes but also their lives.”

Helen Kershaw, who oversees the service for Virgin Care’, said: “Through the Anchor Centre we are able to offer our patients something more than just a routine appointment when they visit their doctor or nurse. This outstanding report is the result of our dedicated colleagues going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our patients feel the difference.”

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