The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Foundation Trust has been rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.
This can be considered an excellent achievement, as the number of trusts receiving the outstanding verdict from the Care Quality Commission is relatively small in number.
CQC inspectors praised numerous aspects of the operation of the trust, with staff training being particularly highlighted.
This includes a simulation-based training programme and efforts to boost the skills of individual staff.
Care Quality Commission inspectors also applauded the emotional support that the trust offers to patients, with pet therapy services in the community being particularly valuable.
Massages and relaxation procedures are also widely available, and this contributes to a caring culture within the trust.
Previously, the trust was told it must improve staffing levels in its diagnostic imaging service and inspectors had concerns regarding documentation required by regulations for use of radiation.
The Care Quality Commission reflected that the trust failed to keep up with contemporary clinical practice in this area.
Nonetheless, the overall surgical procedures at the trust were considered exceptionally good, and the services delivered to patients were particularly lauded by the commission.
The Clatterbridge is one of the biggest cancer centres in the country and treats patients from across Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, the Isle of Man and north Wales.
Oncology services provided at the hospital include 74 inpatient beds over three inpatient wards, and a four-bed young peoples’ unit.
The trust was rated as requires improvement for safety, good for effectiveness and responsiveness, and outstanding for being caring and delivering strong leadership.
Chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, was effusive in his praise for the trust, particularly highlighting the efforts of management.
“The trust was providing superb care, with a leadership team that was visible and respected. Staff were proud to work at Clatterbridge and spoke positively about the care they delivered. There was a friendly and open culture and staff received regular feedback to aid future learning and being supported training by their managers.”
Meanwhile, Richards also noted that the trust was particularly characterised by a personalised touch.
“Inspectors witnessed commitment and dedication from staff as well as some excellent practice. This included care for patients at the end of their life. For example, a number of weddings had been organised, with help from staff, for patients at short notice.”
The CQC carried out an announced inspection from 7th to 9th June 2016.