SALISBURY District Hospital is one of the safest in England, according to health watchdogs.

In figures published last week, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust was placed in the lowest of six risk bands for acute and specialist hospitals in England.

After weighing up 84 different indicators, the trust was given an “overall risk score” of four by the Care Quality Commission, the national health watchdog in charge of the assessments.

Among the many measures where Salisbury beat expectations was the number of harmful patient safety incidents. The watchdog expected the trust to report a figure of 0.28, whereas the figure was just 0.09.

There were also less emergency re-admissions after a patient had previously been taken to hospital in an emergency. The figure was 1,690, compared with an expected 1,915.

The only blackspot on the trust’s record was for genito-urinary tract infections, where there was deemed to be an “elevated risk” for patients, after examination of the information about patients who had died in hospital.

Trust spokesman Patrick Butler said the data was due to an increase in the number of elderly patients from nursing homes who were admitted close to the ends of their lives and then died in hospital.

He said: “The majority of these patients had complex medical problems, but also had evidence of a urinary tract infection (UTI) on admission, for which they were successfully treated and had no evidence of a UTI when they died. “The CQC has put Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust in the lowest risk band which is good news for the hospital and our patients. However, we are not complacent. "