• St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust was previously rated “good”
  • Most recent CQC inspection also rated trust “outstanding” for caring and well-led
  • Report praised ”strong, visible person-centred culture”

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust has been rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission. 

The £383.6m-turnover organisation in the north west had previously been rated “good”.

The CQC inspection, which took place over seven days in July and August 2018, said the trust was “outstanding” in the caring and well-led domains. The remaining inspection areas – safe, effective and responsive – were all rated “good”.

The report said: “There was a strong, visible person-centred culture, the staff we met were highly motivated and driven.”

On the well-led inspection area, the report added: “Leaders were knowledgeable and understood the risks in their areas. They prioritised safe, high quality care through supportive relationships with staff who felt respected, valued and supported.”

The trust, which employs around 7,000 people across its two main hospital sites, has recently been highly-rated by its own staff. It received the highest mark in the country for a non-specialist acute trust for “staff recommend[ing] the organisation as a place to work or receive treatment” in the most recent staff survey.

There are nine acute non-specialist trusts currently rated outstanding and a further six acute specialist trusts rated outstanding.

Responding to the CQC report, chief executive Ann Marr said: “Our staff work tirelessly to provide the highest standards of compassionate care to our patients and this inspection report is a reflection of that.”

Ms Marr has led the trust since 2003.

Trust chair Richard Fraser said: “To achieve an outstanding rating is rare and for the standard of care and quality of leadership to be given the highest possible rating is a testament to all our staff who aspire to provide five-star patient care for every patient, every time.”