A HOSPITAL chief has claimed improvements are “already being made” to Andover War Memorial Hospital following criticism by a health watchdog.

Mary Edwards, CEO of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has defended the Charlton Road based facility after the Care Quality Commission found that it “required improvement” during a recent inspection.

Mrs Edwards claims the hospital is a “key part” of their service and has already put in place plans to fix the issues highlighted in the report.

She told the Andover Advertiser: “We cannot afford to be complacent because there are things we have got to sort out.

“This is what these reports are all about.

“Of course it was painful when we received the negative feedback but I know that staff at Andover will be desperate to make things right and it is my job to do what I can to support that.”

Asked about one of the issues highlighted in the report, stating that “staff did not feel their concerns were managed effectively and this had impacted on morale, she replied: “We run a small team in Andover and like all situations when things get busy perhaps staff did not get the close contact they needed.

“So one thing we need to do is bring in a manager to Andover specifically to speak to staff and oversee things – like an old school matron.

“That is something we are already looking at bringing in.”

Mrs Edwards also pointed out that the Andover War Memorial Hospital received a good rating in the same report for its medical care, maternity and outpatients as well as an excellent rating for end of life care.

She also commented that the hospital has recently received high patient approval in the form of the nationally run ‘Friends and Family’ scheme.

According to October’s report, of the 19.7 percent of minor injuries patients who responded, 93 percent said they would recommend the hospital, while just four percent said they would not.

The hospital received a similarly high rating for its Kingfisher Ward and its day surgery service.