West Suffolk Hospital rated as 'outstanding'

image captionThe hospital is one of only seven general hospitals in England rated as "outstanding", and the only one in the Midlands and East region

A hospital's end-of-life and outpatient services have helped it gain an "outstanding" rating from inspectors.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) in Bury St Edmunds is one of only seven general hospitals in England awarded the highest possible rating.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which visited in November, said staff "truly respected and valued patients".

The rating was an improvement from the CQC's last inspection in 2016, when the trust was rated as "good".

"Staff displayed a culture of compassion and positivity... and had a genuine desire to want to provide the best possible care to patients," the report added.

'Busiest winter'

Outlining areas where WSFT could look to improve further, inspectors said that the trust "should ensure that all equipment in outpatients is appropriately electrically safety checked" and "ensure that all staff receive an appraisal".

The findings come after the organisation recorded its "busiest winter", with a 6% rise in people admitted to the hospital in December compared with the same month in the previous year.

"We are absolutely delighted to have received an outstanding rating," said the hospital's chief executive Stephen Dunn.

"I am particularly proud that our end-of-life service has moved from requires improvement in our last inspection, to outstanding.

"Good end-of-life care is tailored to the person who needs it, and this report shows our staff go above and beyond to ensure comfort, dignity and kindness is at the heart of what they do."

Between 2010 and 2014, West Suffolk Hospital - which is run by WSFT - recorded five "never events" which are so-called, because they should never happen.

They included surgeons operating on the wrong part of a patient's body and a "foreign object" being left inside another.

The details were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

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