Health services in Wigan were highlighted twice as examples of outstanding practice in a report looking at the state of the nation’s hospitals.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has presented its findings after inspecting all 136 NHS acute non-specialist trusts and 17 specialist trusts in the country.
Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust was rated as “good” after its inspection in June.
Two of its services have now been highlighted in the CQC’s new report as examples of outstanding practice.
The spotlight was put on the end-of-life care provided at Wigan Infirmary and the breast team at the Thomas Linacre Centre, in Wigan town centre.
Despite some hospitals treating end-of-life care “as a peripheral activity solely managed by specialist teams”, the service provided in Wigan was praised.
The report said: “End-of-life care services were provided by compassionate, caring staff who were sensitive to the needs of seriously ill patients.
“The service was delivered by staff who were committed to providing a good service and there was good clinical leadership from a consultant in palliative medicine.
“There was a co-ordinated approach across the Wigan borough to design end-of-life care services to meet the needs of the local population.
“Facilities and systems were in place to minimise stress for families staying with their relatives and to allow them to spend as much time as they wished with them in their last days and hours.”
They highlighted a swan logo used to identify patients receiving end-of-life care.
Wigan hit the headlines a couple of years ago when, at the request of a dying woman, a horse was brought to Wigan Infirmary so she could say goodbye to her beloved pet.
There was not a dry eye in the hospital as Sheila Marsh was nuzzled by Bronwen and pictures went viral on social media.
The report also names the Thomas Linacre Centre among the hospitals rated outstanding for outpatients and diagnostic imaging.
It said: “The breast team at Thomas Linacre Centre achieved screening targets above the national average and managed a large catchment area of patients.
“The specialist nurses ensured a holistic patient approach and considered the psychological aspects of women who have breast surgery, offering a complete service.
“There is evidence of continuous learning and participation in audits.”
Pauline Law, the trust’s director of nursing, welcomed both the new report and the findings from the CQC’s inspection last year.
She said: “Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS foundation Trust was pleased to obtain a CQC inspection report with 87 per cent of its services receiving either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’, the two highest ratings. The trust received an overall rating of ‘good’.
“We were absolutely delighted that the report highlighted the trust’s end-of-life care services and the services provided at the Thomas Linacre Centre, both of which received the highest rating of ‘outstanding’.”
She continued: “It is thanks to the hard work, professionalism and dedication of all our staff that we received these outstanding results.”