At Ashcroft, we simply believe in...

'always trying to do the right thing'.

Doing the right thing...

We abide by this principle and will always do so.   It is important that we ‘do the right thing’ for our patients.   We aim to provide a high quality health care service. We believe in providing a good nurturing working and learning environment for all members of our team because we feel that the happier we are at work, the more it is likely that we will put our hearts into our jobs and ‘do the right thing’.   Our principles are generally based on humanism – helping  our fellow man and woman, learning from experience and contributing to society.   In so doing, and as a training practice, we hope these principles will pass onto the next generation of health professionals.  

This mindmap summarises our mission.  We developed it back in 2006.
We review it every now and then to remind us what we are about and to see if we want to add anything to it.

Our Values

There five values that we feel makes Ashcroft Surgery a great place.  Great in that we have a great team, we care about our patients, and we strive to make your lives better.

  1. We will always be CARING
  2. We will always strive to provide an EFFECTIVE health care service
  3. We will try and be RESPONSIVE to the needs of individual patients, groups of patients and indeed communities.  We will listen to your views.
  4. We will provide a SAFE place for your health.  We will also do our best to proactively look out for vulnerable patients and instigate systems to protect them.
  5. And finally, we understand most of this can only happen if we are WELL-LED.   We will therefore invest time and training into our managers and clinical leads in the practice.  Investing in them in this way ensures that a top notch service is always the aim.


Our 5 Values

We are a practice that cares about people.   We do this by trying to promote an atmosphere of dignity and respect for our patients and embrace equality and diversity.  We have demonstrated this in our logo;   consisting of two elderly people on a bench seat, families, teenagers, young adults and the rainbow sun represents health for the LGBT community.  

Other examples: We have a dedicated receptionist who deals with bereavement and follow a bereavement policy.  Post Brexit we were considerate of the feelings of our Eastern European patients and made it clear in the waiting room we would not tolerate racism and all members of the practice team were briefed on this.  We take a considered approach in our patient removal policy.  We also have policies for consent and chaperones to ensure we practice in a patient-centred way.

As a practice, we provide a quality health service for our patients.  Health professionals go on courses to keep their clinical knowledge and skills current.   We also have weekly team learning meetings where we discuss patients and learn from each other.  All of our staff have appraisals to help each individual to develop year on year – that includes the doctors, the nurses and the admin staff.   

To ensure we look after specific medical conditions effectively, we run several clinics to focus on these – we have chronic disease clinics for asthma, COPD, diabetes and cardiovascular health and all nurses running these clinics have appropriate diplomas. We also host external services to improve patient access to alcohol services, counselling, memory clinic and baby clinic. 

To promote health for our community even more effectively, we are actively developing self-care projects in conjunction with our health trainers and well-being worker.    We want to arm you with health information so that you can look after your own health more effectively.   Our website has a number of information pages (under the Health Info pages on the home page) to help you in this regard.    Come into our surgery and take a look at our ‘self-care information board’ in the waiting area.  We also have a number of public health patient information leaflets to help you will managing your illnesses – minor or otherwise.  

We don’t just provide a standard health service at Ashcroft.  We take pride in the fact that we are always looking to develop new services and things as the need dictates (that’s why we love hearing your views).

We have been responsive to patient groups such as the elderly by providing patient-centred services such as home visits, care home ward rounds and case managers for the most vulnerable.  We have a named GP for all over 75 years and actively look after people with chronic diseases to stabilise them and thus prevent them from going into hospital.

We have systems in place to try and manage patients at home by offering telephone appointments.  We now offer electronic prescribing to make the lives of our patients easier.   Last year one of our main complaints was difficulty getting through on the telephone system.  As a result of this we have changed our phone system to a more patient friendly and responsive system and as a result complaints have reduced. 

In the past we have also responded to patient feedback and changed our appointment system to a walk in service.  When this was evaluated we did not feel this was delivering safe patient care, so reverted back to our current system.   But the point is – we listen to you and try and make changes to make things better for you.  Currently, most GP practices are finding it difficult to recruit doctors and as a result we are  training 2 Advanced Practitioners so we can continue to provide safe care for our patients.   We have a suggestions box for both patients and staff – so please do continue to give us feedback.

We will provide a SAFE place for your health.  We will also do our best to proactively look out for vulnerable patients and instigate systems to protect them.  

As a practice we assess and monitor our service in several ways; on a patient level we take individually expressed patient concerns seriously and we have a comprehensive and easily accessible patient complaints system in place.   More widely, we conduct a patient survey and act on concerns raised and feed this back to patients via our practice newsletter.  

To help identify and protect vulnerable patients (like the elderly, children and those being domestically abused), all of our staff training have undergone what is called ‘safe-guarding’ training.     Every staff member understands that concerns identified by anyone should be flagged up – not just the doctors and nurses!  We have safeguarding leads within the practice who they can turn to – Drs Elizabeth Hamblin (for adults) and Dr Pardip Sandhu (for children).

We follow strict policies on recruitment and do DBS (police) checks on new staff employed. Other things we do in terms of safety includes prescribing carefully, and dealing with test results and our tasks on time.  We have employed an in-house pharmacist to improve medication safety, developed effective systems to monitor high risk drugs and developed the medication review protocol. 

The practice engages in a weekly training event in which we try to learn from each other.   We have regularly scheduled meetings to discuss significant untoward events – so that we can learn from these.  We also review the medical cases of patients who have recently been diagnosed with cancer or who have died – again to see if there is anything we can learn to make our service even more safe.

For medical emergencies all staff are trained annually in BLS and we have a process to ensure the emergency equipment is serviced on a regular basis.

Being well-led is the key to ensuring everything comes together nicely at Ashcroft surgery.    Therefore, we place great importance on training our staff, especially the clinical and administrative leads.

We have an experienced Practice Manager who takes overall responsibility to ensure policies and procedures are followed.  In fact, we now have a comprehensive set of protocols and policies to help us provide a structured and comprehensive service.  All of them can be viewed on this website here… www.ashcroftsurgery.co.uk/protocols

We have clearly defined leadership roles for our team members. We hold regular staff meetings to ensure all staff are well informed of current practice and developments.  In addition this is a place where staff can air their views too.     To help with this further, we developed a staff comments box – which unfortunately wasn’t used much so now  we are in process of developing a staff questionnaire via survey monkey which we will run periodically every year or so. 

We are also working with CCG and local practices in federation to improve health outcomes for our patients – and we have named doctor leads who go to these.   We also have named nurse and doctor leads for different medical areas and conditions so that they can help guide the rest of us on current and best practice.  This will hopefully translate into a better quality of clinical care for our patients.

Let’s work together and make things better.   Contribute to your community & make a difference.


How we care for Specific Patient Groups

  • We have developed an innovative way which involves educating and empowering patients, educating the staff, developing an effective recall system and creating a protocol driven computerised SystmOne tool, which with the click of a button will highlight any outstanding monitoring requirements. In days when more and more medications, which were traditionally prescribed in secondary care, are being prescribed in primary care either via a shared care arrangement or initiated by GPs, many of them needing frequent and close monitoring, we recognised the need for a fail-safe mechanism to ensure they are being prescribed and monitored in a safe and effective manner.
  • Since 2010 we have held quarterly significant event meetings in which we discuss events which had/may have had adverse outcomes for our patients. We have a robust system for documenting the events, recording the learning points and reviewing any actions at the next significant event meeting.
  • We have also initiated a new cancer diagnosis review. We review the care received, missed opportunities for earlier detection and have used this as a platform to review the new NICE cancer guidance.
  • Regular appraisals of all staff – so that we can help them improve on their knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  • Induction programme for new trainees including safeguarding procedures/training and End of Life care.
  • We have designated adult and child safeguarding leads who co-ordinate the response to any safeguarding fears raised. We use the specific adult and child safeguarding node on system one for “soft reporting” and integrating care between agencies
  • Our safeguarding meeting is a true MDT where we invite our case manager who is involved in our most vulnerable elderly patient care. For children and families we invite our school nurse, midwife, health visitor, and practice nurses.
  • All staff are trained in safeguarding and points of contact where there is concern. Our admin staffs are also trained and have confidence to report safeguarding concerns.
  • We use a safeguarding children and adult policy. To clarify our role in the MARAC procedure we have developed a MARAC policy to clarify each team member’s role.
  • Safeguarding Leads attend local network meetings and feedback key learning points to the team
  • In addition to the safeguarding meetings we use the doctors meeting every Monday and PLT on Thurs to bring up any immediate clinical problems that cannot wait until the next safeguarding meeting.
  • We have a considered approach to our DNAs and removal of patients policy. Prior to sending a warning letter for DNAing appointments a doctor will review the clinical notes to ensure the patient is not vulnerable and whether additional support is needed.  If the patient is thought to be vulnerable we would bring this up at the doctors’ meeting. 
  • If a vulnerable patient changes practice we communicate a handover to the new practice.
  • We attend MDT meetings for vulnerable patients.
  • We have a lead GP in elderly care that has extended experience of complex elderly care. 3 of our GPs have provided cover for Eccleshill Community Hospital and as a result have additional training in elderly medicine. 
  • Staff are trained in treating patients with the respect and dignity that they deserve and this is an essential part our ethos.
  • We participate in a local integrated care initiative where one of our elderly lead GP’s and case manager attends a locality MDT meeting. This has allowed us to develop links with the voluntary services within our area and have face to face rapport with social services, therapy services and mental health services.  As a result of this we are more informed of the services available for our patients. 
  • To improve patient care for our care home residents we are delivering an integrated care initiative; where we do a weekly ward round at Ashcroft Care Home. As a result of this patients at this home are managed proactively.  This has been an extremely successful service with the home, our patients, their families and the practice.  This is evidenced by the increase in residents at Ashcroft care home registering with the practice.  We initially had 33 patients in 2013, in 2016 we have 44.
  • We hold strength and balance exercise class for the elderly population in our meeting room on Mondays.
  • We have dedicated case managers; who are senior district nurses by background; who work closely with GP’s and rapidly respond to deterioration in health and social situations and prevent admissions to hospitals. They are also highly trained in management of chronic disease, such as COPD (we have an above average incidence of COPD), and are able to provide continued support of our patients in the community. 
  • We participate in Adult Unplanned Admissions; we have a clear process by which we identify which patients to add to the register and process for monitoring these patients.
  • We offer home visits to housebound patients
  • We understand bereavement is a difficult time for the family so we take a proactive approach to registering the death. A designated receptionist will contact the family of the bereaved and advise them on the next steps for registering death and collection of death certificate.  We also follow this up with a handmade bereavement card with a personal message from the GP and information on bereavement support.  If appropriate we will also arrange bereavement visits. 
  • A named GP for all over 75 year olds.
  • We have employed an in-house pharmacist to improve safety, especially in this group of patients. She runs two clinics a week where she is able to reviewing patients’ concordance  and drug safety 
  • We have responding to significant events and improved safety of Amber drugs; we have developed a pathway to improve shared care DMARD drugs, denosumab and are developing a NOAC monitoring system.
  • We have an experienced Practice Nurses team with diplomas in CV disease, diabetes, COPD, asthma and women’s health.  
  • We have chronic disease registers and recall systems in place to ensure patients receive ongoing review of their chronic conditions. To try and reach out to patients who were not engaging we have changed our recall system so an HCA will follow up patients who do not respond to invitations with a telephone call to try and encourage engagement. 
  • We are a high QOF achieving practice
  • Many of our staff have worked for many years and have long term mutually respectful relationships with the patients.
  • In house ENT GPwSI, minor surgery, and GP training to become dermatology GPwSI.
  • Regular “Gold Standard” meetings with the palliative care team to co-ordinate care and communicate effectively with shared use of system one and end of life template.
  • We have a practice Health Trainer to help support and achieve personal health targets.
  • All staff are trained in safeguarding and points of contact where concern.
  • Close working relationship with health visitors and midwives within the building. We have a open-door policy where we encourage face-to-face communication of any urgent matters via the on call GP.
  • Protect young people’s confidentiality unless risk of harm.
  • Telephone appointments are available daily and all patients in need of an urgent appointment are accommodated especially children and older patients.
  • Parents of all new babies are contacted with a congratulations card. It outlines the support they will receive from the midwives and health visitors, requests them to register the new baby, book new baby check, immunisations and signposts to see GP if any concerns.
  • We hold a drop in health visitor led baby clinics on Monday lunchtime where the health visitor has access to the on-call GP if she has any concerns.
  • We offer extended hours every Monday evening; 6.30 until 9pm.
  • We offer telephone appointments for people who are working and find it difficult to attend the surgery.
  • Online access; patients have the ability to book appointments and order prescriptions.
  • Implemented Electronic Prescription Service to reduce the need to attend the surgery.
  • We have actively tried to diagnose dementia in at risk populations and have a dementia lead GP who has attended CCG dementia training and cascaded this to the clinical team to promote dementia awareness and increase diagnosis. We have a recall system in place to review all our patients with dementia and are promoting advanced care planning (more and more patients have Advanced Care Plan in place), and are offering carer health checks. We have developed 2 local templates to improve our dementia care. 
  • We are raising awareness about dementia on our seasonal board on the doctors’ corridor.
  • Our Case Managers are used to help coordinate services for many of our dementia patients and do regular reviews in their homes with their families to proactively manage changes in health and circumstance.
  • We have tried to improve accessibility to memory clinic by hosting the local memory clinic with our surgery premises. This has also broken some of the communication barriers as we can talk to members of the dementia team in person.
  • We also host counsellors from the PCMHT, alcohol service, well-being workers so that we are able to provide local support for our patients.
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