The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is celebrating an overall Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating of 'Good' and has been taken out of special measures, after huge strides by many departments and services, following a series of damning inspection reports since 2014.

All three areas inspected, during planned visits in June and July, have improved.

The results have just been published and a new report shows the Trust has finally moved from 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good.'

Despite Covid-19, 89 of the Trust’s 108 ratings are now Good or Outstanding.

There were 18 examples of Outstanding care and services, highlighted in the report, ranging from the quality of patient care, to improvement in culture and partnership working.

Mental Health services have seen the most significant change.

Isle of Wight County Press:

They were still considered to be 'Good' in 2014, despite an overall rating for the Trust of 'Requires Improvement.'

By the next major report, Mental Health provision had plummeted to 'Inadequate.'

The results of that inspection, published in April 2017, recommended the Trust be put in special measures and also rated it 'Inadequate' overall.

Mental health and community services were highlighted to be facing serious challenges and inspectors said the departments were unable to safely meet the needs of patients.

The Trust's former chief executive stepped down in the month before the report.

Speaking at the time, Karen Baker said: "The Trust needs a fresh pair of eyes to take it on the next stage of its development journey."

With the appointment of Maggie Oldham, first as interim and then permanent chief executive, in 2017, the Island's health services started their recovery.

Isle of Wight County Press: Isle of Wight NHS Trust chief executive Maggie Oldham.Isle of Wight NHS Trust chief executive Maggie Oldham.

By 2019, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust had moved to 'Requires Improvement' overall - but Mental Health services continued to be rated 'Inadequate.'

In today's report the service, like the Trust itself, has achieved 'Good', with improvements in four of the five areas checked.

The outcome of June's inspection is being hailed a huge achievement by those who work at the Trust, which provides ambulance, mental health and community services to around 143,000 people and runs the 245-bed St Mary's Hospital.

Throughout the seven year journey to 'Good,' staff have consistently been praised for being caring.

Reacting to the 2021 report Ms Oldham said: "The people who make up our Trust have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and even with all of those challenges they never lost focus on improving the services we provide to our community.

"It has been a long road, but I am so proud of everyone that has contributed to this success.

"My sincere thanks go to all our staff, our volunteers, our partners and to our community for all their support."

"It has been a long road, but I am so proud of everyone." - chief executive Maggie Oldham

Leadership is among the areas highlighted as having improved.

CQC inspectors found leaders 'demonstrated the delivery of improvement plans over time and had plans for a strategy refresh to progress the quality of care delivery for the future.'

The executive team won praise for showing 'the drive to make the Trust a better place for staff to work in.'

Speaking earlier this year, before inspectors arrived on the Newport hospital site, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust's boss was confident of the impact of the work being undertaken.

Ms Oldham told us she could not imagine there were many others in her position as keen to be inspected.

Inspectors found the Trust provides person-centred care and staff who are determined to meet the needs of patients and the public.

They found a greater patient focus than before and engagement with staff, patients, partners, and the wider healthcare system are much improved.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has been rated 'Good' by the CQC.

Concerns were also previously raised about the ambulance service and although it was not inspected this time around, it has shown improvements.

Ms Oldham acknowledges there is more to do - but says today is one for celebration.

She said: "Being rated 'Good' by the Care Quality Commission isn’t the end of our improvement journey.

"We know that there is more we can do and our focus now will be on working with our partners, to sustain the progress we have made and to ensure that our services are sustainable.

"I hope everyone working at the Trust can take a moment to appreciate the scale of this achievement and to reflect on their important contribution to our improvement.

"None of this would be possible without our wonderful staff. I cannot thank them enough."

"Sustainable improvements." - Ted Baker, CQC

Ted Baker, the CQC's chief inspector of hospitals said: "We found sustainable improvements have been put in place and embedded.

"This is a great achievement - the more so, as it has taken place against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Throughout the inspection, the team received feedback that was overwhelmingly positive about staff often going the extra mile to support patients.

"The care and support received exceeded patient’s expectations, and this has resulted in the trust’s community services receiving an outstanding rating for being caring."