THE ROYAL Bournemouth Hospital has been rated as 'Good' in its latest government inspection after root and branch discussions with staff and patients resulted in 'significant and visible' changes within the Trust.

Officials from the Care Quality Commission - which delivered the shock blow in 2015 that the hospital required improvement in several areas including urgent and emergency care, medical care, maternity, and surgery - praised the trust's leadership as 'outstanding'.

In a statement issued today - following an 2.5 day visit in March - inspectors said: "We observed a deeply positive and embedded culture of caring."

The Trust's Chief Executive Officer, Tony Spotswood, explained how the Trust had gone from needing improvement to being the highest-rated acute hospital in England in terms of staff feedback.

"We spend six months talking to staff across all areas," he said. "We asked them how it felt to work and patients how it felt to be cared for here. In particular we asked questions around the type of culture and behaviours they wanted to see established and set about enacting that."

This, he said, had resulted in the significant and visible change which had impressed the inspectors. "How individuals are supported, how people are recognised in going over and above what could normally be expected of them has been aligned," he said.

One direct example of the improvement was that there are now waiting lists of staff members who want to work in certain clinical areas, he added.

The inspection looked at safety, and whether the hospital's services are effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “The board and staff must also be congratulated for setting out an aim to be the most improved trust by 2017 and for its achievement in working collaboratively with local stakeholders to help transform local health service throughout Dorset.”

The inspection identified that: "Trust leadership had taken a cultural approach to improving services, ensuring that quality improvement and continuous improvement were integral to the everyday workings of the Trust”.

It also praised the Trust's 'exemplary reporting system for sharing learning and best practice' and said patients were treated with dignity and respect throughout the Trust and Trust leaders promoted a 'person-centred culture'.

Mr Spotswood said the results reflected the team effort made by all staff at the hospital. “Building on our last set of CQC results has been a true team effort, with everyone bringing ideas to the table and embracing new ways to improve patient care," he said. "We’re so proud of our staff and their continued commitment to quality care for the people of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and the surrounding areas."