FRIMLEY Park Hospital has received both good and bad marks in a recent assessment of its acute services by the Commission for Health Improvement.

The reviewers found that high workloads, lack of space and keeping the accident and emergency department open at all times had sometimes led to breaches in the privacy, dignity and care of patients. It conceded that action had already been taken to relieve the pressure on beds but said the trust needed to work with others to improve the use of acute hospital beds.

The CHI also concluded that the trust needed to alter some of its priorities, systems and practices. In particular it needed to work towards a more systematic approach to involving patients from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds more sensitively.

Among the good practices highlighted in the report was the establishment of a Medical Emergency Team whose aim was to prevent cardiac arrests in hospital. The trust is also praised for its training in customer care, daily ward visits by infection control nurses and the use of coloured cards above patients' beds to indicate specific needs.

The hospital's management team has set up an action plan to implement required improvements.

Chief Executive Andrew Morris said that on occasions Accident and Emergency had a high workload and lack of space. Construction work was already under way on a £2 million 36-place medical assessment unit to be up and running by the autumn. A temporary twelve-place unit was already proving its effectiveness.

Mr Morris said that on March 25th the hospital would be opening its new £300,000 unit for "walking wounded" where people with less serious injuries could be treated and discharged faster.