Hospital chiefs are celebrating an improved rating for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary .
Following a series of inspections, health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has assessed it as ‘Good’.
Two years ago it was deemed to be ‘Requires Improvement’.
The CQC returned in March and April and has now given the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) a better review.
It found only one area to be below standard – the ‘Safe’ category, which asks if patients are protected from abuse or avoidable harm, which is still being rated as ‘Requires Improvement’.
The CQC probe looked at urgent and emergency services, critical care, maternity and children and young people’s services, at both HRI and Calderdale Royal Hospital.
It also inspected the community sexual health services and community inpatient services.
Inspectors found some areas of outstanding practice including in emergency services at CRH, where the department had developed ‘Ted’s Journey’ to help children feel more comfortable with what to expect from their time in hospital.
Other areas singled out for praise include critical care where the trust has brought in access to psychological therapies to help patients going through traumatic injuries and illnesses.
In the maternity department, inspectors said they saw exceptional care where babies had tragically been diagnosed with life limiting conditions in partnership with a children’s hospice.
The report is not entirely good news.
Both hospitals have received some criticism, including warnings to be more diligent about checking equipment, getting rid of expired items and improving the administration and storage of medicines and controlled drugs.
Community services have also been dropped a rating from ‘Good’ last year, to ‘Requires Improvement’ this year.
Professor Ted Baker, the CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “This is an encouraging report for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
“There has been a marked improvement since our last inspection in 2016 and I congratulate all concerned.
“At trust level the rating for well-led improved from Requires Improvement to Good.
“Inspectors could see that there was an open culture and most staff felt supported by their line managers.
“At both Huddersfield and Calderdale overall ratings had improved.”
CHFT Chief Executive Owen Williams said: “This is very pleasing news for all colleagues and volunteers here at CHFT.
“I think it is also important for our patients and their families to have confirmation of what most of them already know, which is that they receive ‘Good’ compassionate care.
“We were inspected in April this year at the tail end of one of the most difficult NHS winters on record.
“So to have attained this rating is a real achievement and reflects all the hard work and dedication by our teams here every day and night of the year for our patients.
“Of course, there is still work to do in some areas and that is already underway but the ethos of the thousands of colleagues at CHFT is about making daily improvements to the care provided and we are all determined to keep improving.
“So a massive thank you to all my colleagues here at CHFT for improving our patient care and I’d also like to thank our partners and the members of the public for their ongoing support.”
Referring to the dip in performance in community service, Prof Baker added: “We found that they were not ensuring that sufficient numbers of people suitably skilled, qualified and experienced were available.
“In the meantime we will continue to monitor these services and return at some time in the future to check on progress.”
HRI said the community health services rated was a pilot scheme at Calderdale Royal that had since been discontinued.