BASILDON Hospital has been praised by the health secretary for improving.

Jeremy Hunt, who visited the hospital earlier this year, said it had made huge progress since it had been placed in special measures in July 2013.

The hospital was removed from special measures last month after making changes including hiring more nurses.

Mr Hunt said: “A year ago, Basildon and Thurrock had poor systems for managing beds and was failing to apply infection control procedures properly.

“But it has made terrific progress. 241 extra nurses and nursing support staff have joined since July 2013.

“The maternity unit is the first in the country to be rated “outstanding”, all of which has led Basildon and Thurrock to be taken out of special measures.

“This success is a tremendous tribute to the work of brilliant staff who are dedicated to the principles that underpin our NHS.”