CARE at the Great Western Hospital is improving, a health watchdog has said - despite rating it as still requiring improvement.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated many aspects of the hospital as good.

However, the hospital was handed a requires improvement rating for safety and being responsive to people’s needs. Overall, the hospital was given a requires improvement rating.

Inspectors from regulators CQC visited the hospital in March.

In October 2015, when Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust last underwent an inspection, the CQC issued a warning notice requiring improvements in the hospital’s emergency department.

During that 2015 inspection, the CQC said that patients could not be discharged because there was nowhere suitable for them to go, and the design and layout of the emergency department meant that patients were not adequately observed.

Following their visit in March, inspectors said that steps had been put in place to improve the flow of patients around the hospital – although this was still in need of improvement.

The emergency department was often full, but inspectors said staff worked hard to make sure that the care people received was safe. At times this was put in jeopardy by the number of people in the department.

Hospital bosses understood their challenges and had plans to address them, the CQC said.

Feedback from patients was “consistently positive”, with care described as "compassionate".

Professor Ted Baker, CQC chief inspector of hospitals, said: “I am pleased that we have found improvement in those areas that we had identified as a priority during our last comprehensive inspection. However, it is clear that this is work in progress – and further work is needed.”

The trust’s chief executive Narissa Vaughan said: “We’ve been on a journey of improvement for the last two years. It’s one we are still on and one the CQC recognised as being ‘underpinned by realistic goals’.

“We have a strong track record of making improvements – even when faced with ever-increasing demand from a rapidly growing and ageing population – and it’s this resilience that will get us to where we need to be.”

The CQC said the hospital still needed to make improvements to its emergency department, the flow of patients through the hospital, and staffing levels on surgical wards.