UNDERFUNDED nurses have overcome the odds after receiving high praise from the chief inspector of hospitals.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust achieved a remarkable turnaround after being rated 'Good' overall by the Care Quality Commission.

The healthcare watchdog previously slammed the Trust in 2014 due to concerns over safety and leadership.

Despite mounting pressures on the NHS and a recent appeal to stay away from the Accident and Emergency department, the inspection found significant improvements.

Royal Berkshire Hospital, which is now rated 'Outstanding', was identified as a highlight of the visit from Professor Ted Baker.

He said: “Almost three years ago we rated services at the Royal Berkshire Hospital as Requires Improvement.

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"I am delighted that the Trust has taken to heart the findings from our original inspection report and built on it to provide excellent services to the people of Berkshire.

“During our latest inspection we found there is now in place an experienced, credible and skilled leadership team with the tenacity to deliver high quality care.

"They set the tone and expectations and in doing so have demonstrated a clear understanding of the Trust’s challenges and priorities.

“The Trust has put quality and sustainability as the top of its priorities, with a defined strategy for the future while maintaining the focus not just on the delivery of care but on the quality of the outcomes."

The winter crisis has hit the Royal Berkshire Hospital particularly hard, with volunteers from St John's Ambulance stepping in to provide non-medical assistance.

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Many residents have seen their operations cancelled or postponed at short notice, with nurses having to work extra shifts to keep up with demand.

The quality of care and responsiveness of the Trust were rated 'Outstanding' as a result of the December inspection.

Steve McManus, chief executive of the Trust, added: "This is a testament to everyone’s hard work and unwavering commitment and we look forward to our other sites and services being inspected so that we can demonstrate how outstanding they are too.

"Although we have been rated outstanding we know we are not perfect.

"There are areas to work on and the report will help us to focus on addressing the issues highlighted by the report where we can continue to make improvement."