Staff at an NHS trust have been praised by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals for their work which has led to it being rated as outstanding overall.
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (Sash) received the top rating for being caring, responsive and well-led and good for being safe and effective.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited East Surrey Hospital, in Redhill, in November.
Sash becomes one of just nine trusts in England now rated as outstanding.
It provides emergency and non-emergency services to the residents of east Surrey, north-east West Sussex, and South Croydon.
The quality of five core services – surgery, medical care, maternity services, urgent and emergency care and outpatients – were inspected, along with management and leadership.
In May 2014, the CQC rated services as good overall, but said some areas, particularly outpatient services, were in need of improvement.
In the latest inspection, significant improvements had been made in outpatients, which had previously struggled with the high demand for the service, the CQC said.
Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Prof Edward Baker, said the trust had clearly built on those findings in “a culture of continuous improvement”.
He said: “The hard work makes a real difference to the lives of people using the services.
“Everyone who has played a part in this should be proud of this great achievement.”
Michael Wilson, chief executive of Sash, said “all the hard work and commitment” of everyone at the trust had ensured patient care was the best it could be.
“Every day our people care for thousands of patients and I am so proud that their fantastic commitment and hard work has been recognised.”