“A momentous day” was enjoyed at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital when the trust learned it was recommended to be taken out of special measures.
The end of a difficult two years is in sight for staff who have helped to turn around the Gayton Road hospital’s fortunes.
The Care Quality Commission has recommended to healthcare regulator, Monitor, that special measures be lifted.
But the hospital will have to wait a few weeks to learn if Monitor will agree with the recommendation.
Following an inspection in June, the CQC has rated the hospital as requiring improvement but found examples of good practice.
Edward Libbey, chairman of the hospital trust, said at a press conference: “This is a fairly momentous day and we are extremely pleased.
“This is one step on a huge journey forward – it is not the end but the beginning. The most important thing it reflects strongly on the commitment of staff.”
The children’s waiting area in A&E, midwifery staff’s commitment and relatives praising the “well organised and effective” paediatric team were among the outstanding areas highlighted by inspectors.
But the hospital has also been advised to make a number of improvements including the secure storage of medicines and ensuring staffing is in line with national guidelines with examples in midwifery and children’s nurses.
Chief executive Dorothy Hosein said work is already underway to tackle the weaknesses.
She said: “Being in special measures has caused difficulty in recruitment, staff morale and how people generally feel, but this has provided confidence in the organisation.
“What we have demonstrated to the CQC is that we have insight into our organisation and insight into our strengths and weaknesses.
“We have had a milestone to come out of special measures but we are aiming to be an organisation that delivers excellent care.”
The hospital was placed in special measures in October 2013 following concerns about patient care and nursing levels. It did not comply with 12 of the 16 CQC requirements.