STRONG leadership and innovative development are changing the culture at Basildon Hospital, according to a new report.

The Care Quality Commission published its annual, nationwide State of Care report yesterday, which highlighted Basildon Hospital as a positive case study.

It follows an inspection of the hospital in March when the trust received its second good rating in close succession.

The report stated: “Strong leadership and innovative staff development continue to help change the culture at Basildon Hospital.

“The trust has a strong, visible and respected leadership team, with a vision to have ‘care and compassion at the heart of everything we do.’ Many of the staff spoke about the executive team with enthusiasm and respect.”

The watchdog went on to praise the trust for development opportunities and support given to staff, in particular an initiative to encourage A&E doctors to progress to consultant level, in response to the national shortage of emergency medical staff.

The report added: “Staff were also very aware of their responsibilities and were engaged with the trust’s processes.

“Those working in the medical care areas were very well prepared for major or emergency incidents.

“The trust is committed to continuous improvement, for example, increasing skills mix and staffing levels in the critical care unit, in order to build on the achievements demonstrated so far.”

The hospital was placed in special measures in June 2013, but within a year it was rated good by the commission, with a recommendation to come out of special measures.

Clare Panniker, the hospital’s chief executive, welcomed the State of Care report.

She said: “Delivering highquality care to our patients has been our number one priority and it is down to the hard work and commitment of staff that we have been able to make significant improvements.

“There has, without doubt, been a shift in performance at our trust over the past three years.

“We’re achieving most of our targets and providing a safer service.

“Of course, we don’t get it right all of the time and we need to recognise when we have made mistakes and learn from them. Our willingness to do this has been fundamental to our recent success.”