Blackpool’s GP practices are among the best in the country, according to a newly published report.
The town has the third highest number of practices ranked as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulatory authority for all health and social care services in England.
The CQC carries out inspections of services across the country, rating them from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ dependent upon the findings.
Only four per cent of GP practices in England have been rated as ‘outstanding’ but figures show that Blackpool has the third highest proportion with 21 per cent of practices inspected in the town being awarded the top standard.
Dr Amanda Doyle, GP at Bloomfield Medical Centre and the town clinical commissioning group’s chief clinical officer, said: “This is a really good outcome for Blackpool.
“People are very quick to criticise GPs and the service they provide, but given the stress they and the wider NHS is under, people should be reassured and encouraged by these results.
“It is also worth noting that the health challenges we have here in Blackpool present huge difficulties for delivering effective services, especially when compared to other areas like those around us.”
Dr Doyle’s surgery, in Blackpool Field, was visited by the CQC in 2013 and was found to meet the standard in every area of inspection.
A third – or seven – of Blackpool’s practices have yet to be rated, though three out of 14 have been rated ‘outstanding’ so far, the CQC said.
Surgeries in London are statistically the least likely to get a top rating, compared to four per cent in the north.
Earlier this year, The Gazette revealed how junior doctors were being offered £20,000 incentives in a bid to persuade them to move to Blackpool and help resolve the resort’s shortage, with 15 doctors needed across the 22 practices.
This month, recruitment firm Primary Care People said it plans to bring between 600 and 1,000 European doctors into the UK over the next four years, with some potentially sent to Blackpool.