A DOCTORS surgery that was in danger of closing due to its doctor retiring has been given the highest possible rating in its latest inspection.

Bee Fold Medical Centre in Atherton was ranked outstanding after a visit by healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The SSP Health practice was given top marks in three out of five areas it was scored on and "good" in the other two categories.

The report states: “The practice management team were motivating, forward-thinking, organised and innovative with a sensible approach and clear goals.

"Staff told us they received excellent support and encouragement from the SSP leadership team to do this.”

Leigh Journal:

Inspectors noted that the practice, which cares for around 2,000 patients, is breast-feeding, veteran and LGBT friendly. The CQC also praised the practice’s cancer champion and its "Good Wish Tree", which contains quotes and messages to raise patients’ spirits.

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SSP Health director and GP, Dr Shikha Pitalia, said: “We are incredibly proud of the hard work of all our staff at Bee Fold Medical Centre – and their colleagues across SSP Health who support them – in achieving this tremendous result.

"Being a single-handed GP practice, Bee Fold could easily have closed before we took it over last year.

"It is incredibly hard for smaller practices to remain open but we knew we had to give this surgery a chance to survive after its GP retired and we have been proven right with the services now being judged as 'outstanding'.

“The federated model of GP practices, which SSP Health pioneered in 2002, is increasingly seen as the way forward for general practice and it has certainly worked for Bee Fold and its patients who can continue to visit their local surgery.”