THE HEALTH minister has praised staff at the Great Western Hospital.

It comes as two departments at the Swindon hospital won almost perfect feedback scores from patients in the Friends and Family Test.

The feedback survey is sent to everyone who has used NHS services, asking them whether they would recommend the services they have used. Results from the Friends and Family Test are published monthly on the NHS Choices website.

In June, 97 per cent of people who completed the survey for GWH said that they would recommend the hospital’s outpatients department.

The stellar score won praise from the government’s top health minister – Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He wrote to the Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, congratulating them on the near-perfect feedback score.

In his letter, dated August 22, Hunt wrote: “The trust is a real example to others, demonstrating how to ensure your patients get the care that they deserve.

“From visiting organisations throughout the country, I know that the immense amount of work that will have been behind this outcome cannot be underestimated.

“This is a testament to the hard work and dedication.”

The hospital’s inpatient department also scored well in the Friends and Family Test, with 96 per cent of people saying they would recommend the service.

The score is up slightly from June last year, when the service won a 95 per cent recommendation score.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the GWH’s staff. He asked trust bosses to pass on his congratulations to staff for the high scores.

“The service they give makes a real difference to the lives of many of the area’s sickest and most vulnerable patients,” he wrote.

Staff at the GWH said they were pleased to win the recognition of the NHS’s top boss.

Cathy Evans, head of outpatients and medical specialties at the Great Western Hospital, said: “We are thrilled that the efforts of our hardworking staff in outpatients and across the trust has been recognised by the Health Minister in such a personal way.

“The trust is always looking at ways to improve the care offered to local people and the Friends and Family Test is great for capturing the thoughts and feelings of our patients, who know what works well and what doesn’t better than anybody else.”