First Outstanding ratings for general practices

Published: 15 November 2014 Page last updated: 3 November 2022

Today, we are pleased to rate the first two general practices as Outstanding following their in-depth and expert-led inspections last month.

Salford Health Matters in Eccles and Irlam Medical Practice in Salford have both been awarded the highest rating possible by the Chief Inspector of General Practice, Professor Steve Field.

These are the first two practices to receive ratings following the introduction of our new inspection regime, which features specialist teams including GPs and practice nurses and trained members of the public, who inspect services against what matters to people who use them – are they safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.

As part of this, CQC awards ratings to general practices of either Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate to help people make informed choices about their care and to encourage improvement in quality across the sector.

The two general practices in Greater Manchester are the first to be rated. Within the next two years, CQC hopes to have inspected and rated all 8,000 general practices across England. Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the Care Quality Commission, said: “With our new inspection regime for general practice we are shining a spotlight on poor care and celebrating the good and the outstanding when we find it.

“I am very pleased that our first two ratings highlight some of the Outstanding care that we know exists in general practice.

“While we are clearly in the very early stages of ratings these services and there is a long way to go before we have inspected every general practice across the country, this should send an encouraging and inspiring message to providers and to members of the public. I congratulate the staff at these practices for their hard work in making a difference for the people using these services.”

Examples of the Outstanding care inspected in Salford Health Matters, Eccles:

  • All patients who require an appointment with a GP are seen on the day their request is made. Requests can be made at any time of day, and the practice has late night and weekend opening so patients who are not unavailable during working hours can access appointments easily.
  • Communication with staff is excellent, Weekly meetings away from the workplace take place and staff receive weekly email correspondence from the chief executive informing them of relevant information.
  • Appointment length is need-specific, with longer appointments routinely offered to some patients with a learning disability.
  • The practice takes the care of vulnerable people seriously, with a GP from the practice attending a drop-in centre three times a week. Also, homeless patients have access to that GP without an appointment.
  • The practice proactively seeks feedback from patients and sends a text message to all patients following an appointment to ask about their satisfaction. They contact patients who are not satisfied to discuss areas for improvement.

Examples of the Outstanding care inspected in Irlam Medical Practice, Salford:

  • There is good leadership and a strong learning culture within all staff, with quality and safety being their top priority. Staff respond to change and are encouraged to bring suggestions for improvement.
  • We saw excellent examples of close working partnerships with other health and social care professionals, which included care planning and a view to avoid unplanned hospital admissions.
  • The practice reaches out to the local community, with practice nurses voluntarily carrying out an annual stroke awareness clinic at a local supermarket for the last five years. All of the staff proactively follow-up information received about vulnerable patients and use their initiative, including clinical and reception staff.
  • Significant events are recorded and shared with multi-professional agencies. We saw evidence that lessons are learned and systems changed so that patient care improves.

For the full findings, please read the inspection reports.

Read the reports...

You can find out more about what we found by reading the full reports on Salford Health Matters Eccles and Irlam Medical Practice.

I congratulate the staff at these practices for their hard work in making a difference for the people using these services.

Prof Steve Field