Hospital gets high praise from watchdog

Southwold Hospital.

Southwold Hospital. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Southwold Hospital has received a glowing report following a surprise inspection by the health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The 12-bed hospital, in Field Stile Road, met all four of the standards inspected, during the routine and unannounced visit at the end of January.

The CQC inspectors spoke with patients and their friends or family members and found people felt safe and protected and that their needs were met.

One patient told inspectors it was the best hospital they had been in and staff were described as kind and compassionate.

Another person said of the staff: 'They really care and do a fantastic job. You can't fake that type of kindness and caring; it is genuine and sincere.'

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Following the publication of the report, sister Sarah Boxer, who leads the nursing team at Southwold Hospital, said: 'The CQC inspection was unannounced and the inspectors saw our staff simply doing what they do every day – caring for our patients well.

'We feel we offer a very high standard of care. We also continually try to improve what we're doing and we're grateful to our patients when they give us feedback.'

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Heather Howman, a matron at Southwold Hospital, added: 'I am delighted by the inspector's report which indicates from the patient's perspective the very high level of quality care provided by our team at Southwold.'

During their visit, the CQC's inspectors looked at four standards including consent to care and treatment, patient care and welfare, staffing, how the hospital cooperated with other providers and how it assessed and monitored the quality of service it provided.

Inspectors found there were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people's needs. The care was described as 'excellent' and 'second to none' and patients said they were kept informed about their progress.

Inspectors were satisfied that systems were in place to gain and review consent to treatment from patients and said that it was well documented.

Their report noted that a plan of care was identified when patients were transferred between services or discharged, meaning that people received safe and coordinated care, treatment and support.

The inspectors also found that the hospital assessed and monitored its service well and areas for improvement were identified and acted upon. Staff members said they felt supported in their role and that they could discuss changes and improvements.

Southwold Hospital is run by East Coast Community Healthcare, which provides a range of services in Waveney and Great Yarmouth. The majority of its patients, all adults, need close nursing care to prevent their condition worsening or require further in-patient care once they have left an acute hospital.

The facility also acts as a centre for consultant outpatient services, has phlebotomy services on-site, has day case patients on the ward and is a base for some district nursing services.

The CQC report can be read here.

Have you got a health story? Email health correspondent Adam Gretton at

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