Tameside General Hospital earns 'good' rating from CQC
A health watchdog has praised the improvements at a hospital that was once placed in special measures.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated as "good" Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
It was placed in special measures in 2013 and the CQC's 2015 report said this should be lifted although it "required improvement" in some areas.
The trust's chief executive said she was "proud" of the rating following the August 2016 inspection.
The hospital was placed in special measures after an investigation into high mortality rates at hospitals in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal.
The chief inspector of hospitals, Sir Mike Richards, said "it should be acknowledged how far they have come in three years".
Sir Mike added: "It is clear the trust has worked hard to address the issues we raised, and I am pleased to be able to change its rating from 'requires improvement' to 'good'."
Sir Mike said the inspectors found a "number of areas of outstanding practice" including:
• A programme for supporting pregnant women with alcohol problems
• The radiology department's virtual post-mortem examination service where a CT scan could determine the cause of death
• The trust's direct access to electronic information about patients needing end-of-life care.
But the report also said the trust must ensure there were enough nurses to meet patient needs, medication fridges must be kept at the required temperature and at least one nurse each shift on the children's ward should be trained in advanced paediatric life support.
Trust chief executive Karen James said she was "immensely proud" of her staff, adding: "Our journey will never be complete, we will continue to improve the quality of services at the organisation."
BBC analysis has found, however, that its bed occupancy is 98% - 13% higher than the NHS's recommended safe level.