A fast-tracked clinical governance review of a hospital which hit the headlines last year, after waiting list figures were manipulated, shows that the trust is 'in the process of turning the corner', according to the Commission for Health Improvement.

The review of Plymouth Hospitals trust was brought forward because of 'several highprofile investigations in the past, particularly focusing on waitinglist management, the trust's culture and clinical performance, ' CHI said. Investigations into 'allegations and counter-allegations about matters including racial and sexual discrimination, clinical performance, team working and organisational culture' in the plastic surgery department had also been drawn to CHI's attention.

Its review said that since the waiting-list investigation - which led to the resignation of former chief executive Arthur Wilson in June last year - the trust had made 'a number of positive changes' including new arrangements for accountability, and brought in an IT system.

It said it was a 'notable achievement' that the trust had met all its waiting-time targets in March, including treatment of all patients waiting over 18 months who had been removed from official lists.

CHI said the trust had also made progress on policies on bullying and harassment and made 'substantial changes' to its organisational structure. Trust chief executive Paul Roberts said:

'There is a lot more to do, but It is a forward-looking report.' He said it underlined the need to increase the local capacity of the NHS, given that the trust reaches levels of activity three times the English average, with resources less than double the average.