Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has made strides with the services it provides despite still requiring improvement overall, according to inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its report into the trust, which oversees both Epsom and St Helier hospitals, this week (May 14).

While the total number of domains rated ‘good’ has increased from 44 to 64, and none were ‘inadequate’, the score remains unchanged from 2015.

In the report’s summary, it said: “Our overall findings indicated improvements and progress in many areas.

“Of the services inspected, most were rated as good, apart from the emergency department on both sites [Epsom and St Helier hospitals], surgery on the St Helier Hospital site and medical care and maternity on the Epsom General Hospital site.

“We found the urgent and emergency services on both sites remained as requires improvement. However, the responsiveness of both departments improved from requires improvement to good.

“Caring remained as good, whilst safe, effective and well-led, remained requires improvement.”

The medical and critical care units, surgery facilities, services for children and maternity unit at St Helier Hospital all improved from their previous CQC ratings.

For Epsom General Hospital, surgery became better – from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ – while the maternity unit stayed at ‘requires improvement’ and the medical care went down from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’.

It was also noted that the environment was ‘not always appropriate’ for services being delivered in areas of the trust due to the estate’s structure and age, while ‘extensive’ building refurbishments are being carried out at St Helier Hospital.

Daniel Elkeles, Epsom and St Helier’s chief executive, said: “I am so pleased that so many areas that the CQC looked at have been rated as ‘good’ with our overall rating for caring and responsive now being rated as ‘good’.

“That is a fantastic achievement and goes some way to reflect that hard work of all of our staff, despite the fact that the CQC visited us during a very busy time in the hardest winter the NHS has faced.

“Whilst our overall rating remains the same as not all services were inspected, we are extremely pleased that the CQC inspectors recognised the major improvements which have been made since the last inspection.

“Many more areas have been rated good by the inspectors and this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff.”

A spokesman for the trust said the inspection was carried out ‘during the busiest time ever seen’ at both hospitals.

This was when the provider was ‘caring for a record number of very sick patients’ during the visit, which was led by inspection manager Roger James and supported by executive reviewer Christine Allen.

The CQC team included 16 inspectors, 14 specialist advisers, two ‘experts by experience’, and executive reviewer Christine Allen who supported it.

To see the full report, click here.