Wirral's Clatterbridge Centre rated outstanding by health watchdog

Staff nurse Georgia Groom and therapy dog Callie Image copyright Clatterbridge Centre
Image caption Patients told inspectors visits from a therapy dog "offered them comfort and support"

A specialist cancer service in Wirral has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC report highlighted the "positivity and compassion" shown by staff at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and praised a programme which allows patients to be treated at home.

However, inspectors found some improvement was needed in safety procedures and outpatient services.

The centre's chief executive said it would "learn from all of the feedback".

Andrew Cannell said he was "very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all our staff and volunteers", adding that they "fully deserve" the outstanding rating.

Image copyright Clatterbridge Centre
Image caption Wirral's Clatterbridge Centre treats more than 28,000 patients each year

Inspectors made an unannounced visit in June and found a need to improve staffing in the radiology department. There were also issues with locating documents, some of which were found to be out of date.

However, the leadership of the NHS trust which runs Clatterbridge and the support given to patients was praised.

These included visits from a therapy dog which "offered comfort and support" and a hand bell on each ward which patients rang to celebrate the end of their treatment.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals, said Clatterbridge was "a centre of excellence delivering state of the art care".

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