Hinchingbrooke Hospital has defended today’s announcement that the hospital will remain in special measures and has praised its staff for their hard work and commitment.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital has defended today's announcement that the hospital will remain in special measures and has praised its staff for their hard work and commitment.

The CQC has released details of its formal reinspection in October in which it issued the hospital with an overall rating of Requires Improvement but the recommendation from the chief inspector of hospitals, professor Sir Mike Richards, was for the Trust to remain in special measures so it could continue to receive support to make “sustainable changes”.

Staff at Hinchingbrooke were informed of the findings in a statement released at midnight.

Hospital chief executive Lance McCarthy said the new rating was a credit to staff who were described as compassionate in the care of patients in the CQC report.

“This is a material improvement from September 2014 when we were rated Inadequate in this area. The new rating is a credit to the hard work and commitment of staff,” he said.

All Hinchingbrooke's services were rated Good in the Caring category. The inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice, including the chaplaincy service, good infection prevention and control initiatives and a scheme to issue sensory bands to dementia patients. The report also said the hospital's leadership team were well placed to continue with improvements they had embarked upon. However, inspectors felt many of the new systems and processes in place needed time to be embedded.

The CQC has recommended the Trust remains in special measures with an early re-inspection in the spring.

Mr McCarthy said: “We have continued improving our services since the inspection in October and will include all the CQC findings in our composite quality improvement plan as we continue our drive towards good and beyond.”