HALTON Hospital has been given a clean bill of health by a health watchdog.

An unannounced routine inspection by the Care Quality Commission found staff were providing the very highest standards of NHS care.

Inspectors spent two days visiting wards, observing medics and talking to staff and patients.

They visited the minor injuries unit and the newly reopened orthopaedic surgery centre and found that the hospital met all required standards for the care, treatment and welfare of patients, management of medicines and staffing.

Comments they received from patients in the report included one who said: “I cannot praise staff highly enough. The night nurses especially night staff are just fantastic and very dedicated.”

Another patient said: “I arrived in a lot of pain and I was very upset and nervous, the staff have been marvellous with me I cannot thank them enough, they got me comfortable and made sure I was pain free as quickly as possible.”

Another patient said:”I'm a bit of a regular. You can always have a laugh and a joke with staff even though you can see how much they have to do. They are dedicated to their jobs and they deserve medals"

Mel Pickup, chief executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an excellent report that shows that the services are Halton General are meeting the very highest standards that are looked for in the NHS.

“The inspectors spoke to patients and staff and found first class levels of care and compassion on our wards.

“To get such a positive report from an inspection is very rare and we’re extremely proud of the services that we provide at the hospital. This report is a credit to all the staff that provide care to local patients at Halton.”

The CQC recently banded each hospital into one of six categories with band 1 being the highest risk and band 6 the lowest. Halton was been placed in band 5.

Ms Pickup added: “Publishing these risk monitoring reports is a really important step in ensuring patients can access the information that they need on their local hospitals.

“They give an indication of the overall performance, quality and safety at a trust and we are in a good position. Our staff continually work to build a culture of high quality, safe healthcare here at the hospitals.“ A list of which trust is in which banding and full reports can be found at www.cqc.org.uk/public/hospital-intelligent-monitoring