THE Countess of Chester is among the best hospitals in the country.
It has been awarded a maximum three stars in the Government's performance ratings system.
The assessment awards the best-performing NHS trusts with three stars and poorly performing ones with no stars at all.
For this first year of the system, the trusts have been rated according to their performance on the things the Government says matter most to patients, such as waiting times and cleanliness.
And each trust will receive a share of a £155m performance fund.
The best trusts will be free to spend the extra cash on developing services and rewarding staff.
A spokesperson for the Countess said: 'The trust is delighted at being awarded a three-star performance rating, which reflects the high level of our commitment to patients.
'This rewards the efforts of everyone here, whatever their role, for working tirelessly to provide a high quality service and respond to the growing demands and pressures faced by the hospital.'
She added: 'The performance rating confirms the progress made by the trust since achieving financial recovery over two years ago.
'This has allowed us to invest in capital projects and make revenue investments to improve and expand clinical services as well as hospital facilities for the benefit of patients.
'The freedoms that will be available to us will enable us to do even more to improve our services locally.'