Bedford Hospital has shown signs of progress according to its tri-annual inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Although the hospital was given the same rating of Requires Improvement as it did three years ago, inspectors highlighted a number of areas where the hospital trust had improved.
And chief executive Stephen Conroy reckon that his team were at the “upper end” of the Requires Improvement ranking.
In an exclusive interview, he told the Citizen: “The CQC were very positive about a number of the things we’ve achieved.
“For example, hardly any trusts were rated Good for their Urgent and Emergency Care departments, and with A&E departments under pressre across the country very few are getting rated Good.
“We can’t be over- excited when we are rated as Requires Improvement overall, but compared to the last inspection three years ago the improvements have been fantastic.”
CQC inspections look at five main ‘domains’, with Bedford Hospital ranked Good for being caring, and Requires Improvement for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led.
However four of the key clinical services were rated as Good, and 66 per cent of services overall were rated Good too.
Mr Conroy said that the report had been fully accepted by the hospital, with a quality improvement plan set to go before the trust board in May.
He added: “These inspections are only held every three years. However, if the CQC did come back in 6-12 months I think we’d have a number more areas rated as Good.
“We’ve been on a journey of improvement over the last three years, and I want that to contnue.
“The message to patients is that this is a good hospital and we should stay here in Bedford, providing services to local people.”
Nina Fraser, the hospital’s director of nursing and patient services, echoed his sentiments.
She said: “This report is a tribute to our staff who work tirelessly to providereally good healthcare service to the people of Bedford.
“Thank you to all of them.”