Mid Staffordshire foundation trust has 'responded positively' to Healthcare Commission concerns over Stafford Hospital's accident and emergency department.

The trust has improved medical staffing levels and increased the numbers of nurses in A&E, the commission said. But it warned more staff were needed to reach levels recommended by the College of Emergency Medicine.

In March, the commission launched an investigation into the trust, which is still ongoing.

Investigators are looking at its mortality rate and standards of nursing care.

Staffing cover

But during a visit last month, the Commission found senior doctor cover in A&E had increased to two and a half whole-time equivalents - up from one in May - and that the trust is currently recruiting further consultants in conjunction with University Hospital of North Staffordshire trust.

Commission head of investigations Nigel Ellis said: "The trust has taken positive steps to bring staffing levels in A&E up to acceptable levels."

Trust chief executive Martin Yeates said: "Patient safety is our highest priority and we are committed to driving up standards." He said new processes were in place to maintain and review staffing levels.

The commission expects to publish its findings in the New Year.