Staff at Epsom and St Helier NHS Hospitals celebrated a welcome report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Thursday (September 19).

The joint University Hospitals Foundation Trust was rated "Good" overall, highlighting a significant improvement from the previous CQC report from May 2018 which dubbed the hospitals in the lower category "Requires Improvement".

The maternity unit in particular received special praise in the report, gaining an 'Outstanding' rating after they won a UNICEF 'Baby Friendly' award since the CQC last visited.

Nevertheless, certain areas — including the emergency department at Epsom General Hospital and the overall safety of services across both sites — remained as "Requires Improvement".

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles described staff's delight at the significant uptick in the level of care now being provided at the joint university hospital trust.

"I am absolutely delighted to announce that Epsom and St Helier has achieved a rating of ‘Good’ in our latest CQC report.

"The improvement in our overall rating and in many of our services reflects our absolute commitment to the health and wellbeing of our patients and the babies born in our care.

"I am so deeply proud of every single member of our staff, and I hope our local communities are proud to have Epsom and St Helier hospitals and our community services on their doorstep," he said.

The executive took to Twitter to show the special treats sent round to all teams at the Trust in celebration of the report's findings, which he was eager to share.

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the CQC, Dr Nigel Acheson, meanwhile praised Epsom and St Helier for its actions in markedly improving services since the independent organization's previous inspection rated it as "Requires Improvement" back in May 2018.

"I am very pleased that Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has attained a Good rating overall. Management and staff have worked well to improve from the previous Requires Improvement attainment," Mr Acheson said.

"I was particularly impressed with the standard of maternity care at the Trust, which had received a prestigious award.

"The trust is going in the right direction with a management team committed to further improving care in the future," he added.

Mr Elkeles for his part drew attention to the wide-ranging changes undertaken since 2018 at Epsom and St Helier hospitals alike: "This inspection also showed that our Trust is performing well behind the scenes too, having assessed whether our services are well-led and whether we use our resources wisely and efficiently.

"We were also awarded a rating of Good for use of resources, which is particularly impressive in an organisation where, because we run duplicate services across two sites, we have a naturally occurring deficit," he said.

Among the areas requiring immediate attention and improvement at the hospitals, young people's care in emergency departments, and young people's mental health care were both highlighted.

"We told the trust that it must take action to bring services into line with four legal requirements. This action related to two services:

"Ensure there are suitable and safe environments for children and young people presenting with mental ill health to be assessed in the emergency departments.

"Ensure there are effective systems for identifying risks to children and young people in the emergency department at St Helier Hospital; and there are plans to eliminate or reduce them.

"Ensure there is adequate staffing across surgical units at St Helier Hospital to provide safe delivery of care to patients," the CQC report read.