Leeds health centre rated as one of country’s best

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A health centre which treats some of the most vulnerable people in Leeds has been named as one of the best practices a team of inspectors has ever visited.

York Street’s patients include homeless people, drug and alcohol addicts and sex workers, and the surgery has now been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

The practice is run by the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and was inspected in October. It works with people living in temporary accommodation and who are being processed by the asylum system to offer primary, mental health and support services. There is also an alcohol and drug treatment programme in partnership with Forward Leeds, and an outreach service for those involved in the sex trade run with Basis.

Inspectors praised the surgery’s effectiveness, leadership and responsivesness, as well as rating it highly for levels of safety and compassion. The CQC’s chief inspector Steve Field said:

“The term ‘ground-breaking’ is often used, but in this case it is right and proper. Not only does this practice serve its established patient list, but it goes the extra mile.

“I can say it was one of the best CQC has visited. It demonstrates what can be achieved with excellent leadership and co-operation with local agencies. This is a thoroughly outstanding practice, delivering high quality care to a diverse patient population. I congratulate them on their rating and would urge any other practice seeking to understand how it can operate in the changing arena of general practice to learn from this report.”

Staff work with hospitals to identify homeless people who are not registered with a GP so that they can be supported on the wards and provided with discharge plans.