THEY care for more than 15,000 patients - many of whom live in ‘one of the most deprived areas in England’, and are homeless.

But that hasn’t stopped the Providence surgery in Boscombe from delivering top-class care.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission praised the practice, which has surgeries in Strouden Park, West Moors and Walpole Road, for the way it looks after its patients, awarding it an ‘Outstanding’ rating.

It said the care delivered to older people, families, children and people experiencing mental health and dementia issues was outstanding, citing a background where the surgery was dealing with 38 different spoken languages and, in some areas, up to a fifth of its clients being unable to read and write well.

Inspectors were impressed by the surgery’s commitment to its patients whatever their circumstances. “A GP from the practice visited the local night shelter for homeless people on Monday to Friday evenings to provide medical care and the practice provided a service once a week on a local Health Bus for patients who were rough sleepers,” said the report.

Further areas of outstanding practise included the specialist training on substance misuse for the working GPs.

“Care for patients with mental health or substance misuse was shared with the local mental health team and detox programmes were offered at the practice,” said the inspectors.

The practice had in-house MRI scanning, X-ray and ultrasound facilities to enable patients to have examinations carried out promptly, which were self-funded, they said.

They also praised the Frailty and Anticipatory Care Team (FACT) consisting of paramedics, a practice nurse and a health care assistant.

Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the South Region, Ruth Rankine, said:

“Providence Surgery has yet again proved that it is providing an exceptional service with high quality integrated care in a practice situated in one of the most deprived areas in England. The service is a real asset to providing a very valuable service to the vulnerable in Bournemouth.

“Staff acted as advocates and delivered care in a way that meets patients’ needs and promoted equality while providing treatment with dignity and compassion.

“This is a great example of what outstanding care looks like and the team at the Providence Surgery should be very proud of what they have achieved.”