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Essex GP practice is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by The Freshford Practice, in Finchingfield, Braintree, Essex, to be Outstanding following an inspection in August.

Inspectors found the practice was providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service that meets the needs of the population it serves.

The Freshford Practice provides primary medical services to around 7,000 patients living in a mainly rural area surrounded by the conurbations of Braintree, Great Dunmow and Haverhill.

A full report of the inspection has now been published and is available on CQC’s website: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-545232981
Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all England’s GP practices are given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

The report on The Freshford Practice highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The practice was well equipped and, due to its rural location, offered many in-house diagnostic facilities including phlebotomy, ultrasound, X-ray and many others. Patient feedback was very positive.

  • The practice used innovative and proactive methods to improve patient outcomes and worked with other services in doing so. In-house digital X-ray and scanning equipment was linked with other organisations so images could be shared. For example; the consultant at the acute trust could view results and advise GPs of future treatment.

Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice and Dentistry in CQC’s Central region said:

“It is clear The Freshford Practice is providing an exemplary service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of Essex.

“We found that staff fulfilled their responsibilities to raise concerns, report incidents and near misses and opportunities for learning from incidents were maximised by the practice.

“There was a strong, visible, person-centred culture and staff were found to be highly motivated and inspired to offer care that was kind and promoted people’s dignity.

“Patient satisfaction rates were higher than the local and national averages and the practice worked closely with other organisations and the local community in planning how services are provided to ensure they meet patient needs.

“Patients with learning disabilities and those with dementia were supported to make decisions through care plans, which they were involved in and agreed with. The practice also sought to educate patients to help manage their medical conditions and improve their lifestyles.

“Complaints were actively reviewed and responded to and the practice made improvements as a result. Inspectors found that there was a clear vision for the service which put quality and safety as its top priority.

“All of this hard work pays off in making a real difference to patients – which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding.”