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Firdale Medical Practice, Northwich is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

20 August 2015
Firdale Medical Centre
  • Media,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by the Firdale Medical Practice in Northwich, Cheshire to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in June 2015.

Inspectors rated the practice as outstanding for responsiveness and well led and good for safety, effectiveness and caring. Overall, the practice was rated as outstanding. A full report of the inspection has been published today.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

The report on the Firdale Medical Practice highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice including:

  • The practice had an ethos of focusing on the patient journey. It was one of only 45 practices in the country to win the Royal College of GPs Quality Practice Award twice (the highest award attainable) and had recently won three Carers awards.
  • There were systems in place to prevent child medical emergencies. For example, during the winter months the practice had review appointment times later in the day for acutely unwell children who had been seen in the morning so that the GP could monitor the child’s progress, reassure the parent or guardian and reduce the likelihood of hospital admission.
  • All members of staff had been trained to recognise early warning signs of domestic abuse and this resulted in early intervention and help offered to families

Sue McMillan CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the North says:

“It is clear this is a well led practice, providing a responsive service that is a real asset to the people living in Northwich.

The Firdale Medical Practice provides a high standard of primary health care to all its patients. Staff are hardworking and engaged in promoting high quality care at every stage of the patient’s journey.

The practice is innovative in the way it plans its care. For example it accommodates other visiting healthcare professionals and advisory groups and had an ECG (heart monitoring) machine so that patients did not have to be referred elsewhere.

The practice had a review appointment system. This was later in the day for acutely unwell children who had been seen in the morning, so that the GP could monitor the child’s progress to reassure the parent/guardian and to reduce the likelihood of hospital admission. This was a good example of best practice.


For media enquiries, David Fryer 07901 514220 or call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143. For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report on Firdale Medical Practice.

Since 1 April, providers have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. Further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings.

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, we always ask the following five questions of services.

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?


For every NHS GP practice we will look at the quality of care for the following six population groups:

  • Older people
  • People with long-term conditions
  • Families, children and young people
  • Working age people (including those recently retired and students)
  • People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable
  • People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia)

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.