HINCHINGBROOKE Hospital’s A&E department was the eighth best in the England at meeting target times in 2012-13, according to figures in the Health Service Journal.

The figures show that over the last financial year the hospital treated 97.7 per cent of patients who were brought in to A&E within four hours, surpassing the nationally set target of 95 per cent.

Clare Hawkins, emergency department lead nurse at Hinchingbrooke, said that huge improvements had been made since Circle took over management of the hospital last February.

She said: "Two years ago, our emergency department was judged to pose a threat to patient harm, staff absences were high and we were at risk of losing junior doctor training posts because of the concerns that were being raised. Now we've been ranked as one of the top 10 emergency departments in the entire country.

"This is a huge achievement - and it has only been possible because of the hard work and commitment of our staff. This is great news for patients, and it's great news for Hinchingbrooke."