St Mary's Hospital is improving, inspectors found, but they noted there is still a way to go.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected St Mary's, in Newport, at the start of February — before the coronavirus outbreak reached the Island — in an unannounced inspection to see if the Isle of Wight NHS Trust had addressed concerns found in its May to June 2019 inspection.

Following the 2019 inspections, the trust was served with a warning notice, requiring them to make significant improvements by the end of that year, because of issues found in acute services.

These included staff not fully completing patient documentation, patients experiencing delays in their care and treatment for strokes and cancellations of surgical operations due to lack of bed availability.

The follow-up inspection found staff had started to address concerns and requirements were met.

In the emergency department, more staff completed hourly patient safety checks; on the coronary care unit, nursing records were fully completed for patients and overall risk assessments had been completed and updated as needed.

In the stroke unit, patients were cared for by staff with the right skills, training and experience, with specialist support available for patients who needed it. Better outcomes had also been promoted for patients on the ward.

An improvement seen by inspectors in medical care at the acute services, noted how the trust had reviewed the at night handover process. At the previous inspection staff did not always have access to up-to-date, accurate information.

Inspecting nurse handovers, inspectors found in multiple units, including Colwell Ward, Appley Ward and the stroke unit, staff on the oncoming shift were actively listening and asked relevant questions.

However, the report said duplication of required information throughout medical and nursing documentation increased the risk of staff not completing patient risk assessments and across most wards and units inspected there were example of some incomplete patient records.

In the surgery unit, inspectors found a risk of important information not being available for nurses to plan and evaluate effective care and staff did not always support patients to make informed decisions about their care and treatment.

Increased hospital pressures, which included the number of staff and beds available and delays in assessment, meant admission to the stroke unit continued to be delayed. An action plan is in place however to improve the admission times.

Nigel Acheson, inspector for the CQC, said: "Following this inspection, we told the provider it must take some actions to comply with the regulations and it should make other improvements — even though a regulation had not been breached — to help the service improve."

Following the inspection, there were seven areas where the trust must improve standards — ensuring patient records are complete, risks are identified for patients and making sure staff have up-to-date information on patients' care and treatment.

There are also four areas where improvements should be made — steps should be taken to reduce duplication inpatient records and continue to make improvements in the stroke pathway, staff attendance at night handover and staff following the deteriorating patient processes.

Maggie Oldham, chief executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: "I am very proud of how well our teams have responded to the challenges of dealing with coronavirus and I am also hugely grateful for their efforts to continue to improve the services that we provide.

“It is important that we don’t lose sight of our ambition to provide the very best possible healthcare and the latest report from the Care Quality Commission shows that we are still making progress.

“Thank you to everyone involved and to our Island community for their continued support.”