Epsom and St Helier hospitals are among the safest in the country after being given the lowest possible risk rating by the health watchdog.

As part of its intelligent monitoring, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) measured the hospitals against 150 key indicators spanning patient safety incidents, mortality, maternity and women’s health, compassionate care, A&E services and staffing.

From this data, each of the 160 hospital trusts in the country were given a risk rating, with band one representing the highest risk organisations and band six the lowest.

The bands are based on the likelihood that people may or may not be receiving safe, effective, high-quality care.

In a report of its findings published this month, Epsom and St Helier hospitals were given the best rating of six.

There were two areas in which the hospitals were deemed to be "at risk". One was for avoidable infections - MRSA, of which the CQC observed eight incidents between August 2013 and July this year, with only 2.73 expected.

Risk was also identified with the hospitals’ reporting culture - specifically, the consistency of reporting to the national reporting and learning system, the NHS’ comprehensive database of patient safety information.

Chrisha Alagaratnam, the hospital trust’s chief executive, said: "At Epsom and St Helier, we are absolutely dedicated to providing patients with a high level of compassionate care, and work hard to make sure their needs are at the heart of everything we do.

"We are delighted to be named as one of the trusts to score the lowest possible risk rating, and pleased to see that this report reflects our commitment to our patients and their loved ones.

"This comprehensive report takes into account a huge amount of data and measurements, so we’re pleased that the full picture of what we are providing is so healthy.

"I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work."

Dr Ruth Charlton, joint medical director and paediatric consultant, said the hospital would continue to strive to improve further.

"As a doctor, it's always great to hear that our hard work is paying off and our patients are benefiting from safe and compassionate care," she said.

"This is also great news for our patients - it goes to show that at Epsom and St Helier we are working hard to be the best, and will continue to strive for further improvements.

It also means that patients can assess their local hospitals a little more easily, and that’s something we would always welcome."

Kingston Hospital was given a rating of four, while Croydon Hospital was identified as a high-risk organisation, achieving a rating of one.

The CQC use the results of its intelligent monitoring to prioritise when a hospital should be next inspected.

To view Epsom and St Helier hospitals report in full click here.


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