‘Ground-breaking’ Leeds Homeless Practice Rated Outstanding by CQC Inspectors

An NHS practice that provides primary care to the homeless and vulnerably housed people of Leeds has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

390York Street Health Practice, which is run by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, was awarded the status following an inspection by the care regulator in October.

The practice works with people who are homeless and in the asylum system to offer primary care, mental health and a support service. There is also an alcohol and drug service (in partnership with Forward Leeds), and work with the city’s street sex workers in partnership with Basis.     

Inspectors praised the practice’s effectiveness, leadership and responsiveness, and also rated it highly for its levels of safety and compassion. 

Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the CQC 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 cooperation with local agencies. This is a thoroughly outstanding practice, delivering high quality care to a diverse patient population. I congratulate them on their ‘outstanding’ 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.”

The practice works closely with the city’s hospitals and A&E departments to identify people who are homeless and unregistered with a GP to support them on the wards and create good discharge plans and care.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust said, “I am delighted that our York Street Practice has been awarded outstanding by the CQC. The practice is a sign of compassionate care and effective clinical practice for the most marginalised in our city.” 

York Street was also the first GP practice nationally to receive the 2015 City of Sanctuary Health Stream Award, which recognises the important role played by the health services in the lives and well- being of asylum seekers.

Amanda Wilkinson, Head of Service at York Street Health Practice added, “I feel proud and privileged to work with a dedicated team who provide an excellent service to the most vulnerable people in Leeds.”

The announcement is further good news following the Children’s Business Unit being awarded an overall ‘good’ in services that were scrutinised last year.