The trust has been praised by the government for its success in being rated the top performing trust in the country for emergency care.
In the letter, Mr Hunt has recognised the trust for having the highest emergency care four hour performance over the last three months.
Part of the letter states: “Moving from 96.2% to 97% is a remarkable achievement. In this sense, the trust is a real example to others, demonstrating how to improve performance in a short space of time and ensure that your patients get the care that they deserve.
“From visiting organisations throughout the country, I know that the amount of work that will have been behind this outcome cannot be underestimated.
“Improvements are impressive and testament to the hard work and dedication of the trust’s staff. Please do pass on my congratulations to all those who work at the trust; the service they give makes a real difference to the lives of many of the area’s sickest and most vulnerable patients.”
In April the trust has continued to perform well – achieving 97.8% for emergency care and also excelling other targets including cancer care and planned operations.
Julie Gillon, the trust’s Chief Executive, said: “We know we are among the very best. It’s fantastic and reassuring to know that this is being recognised by Jeremy Hunt and the Department of Health. We are quite rightly getting the praise we deserve.
“We have consistently been among the top performing trusts over the last year. This is not just for our four hour emergency care waiting time standard, but also in many other areas including cancer care and planned operations.
“Mr Hunt has asked that I pass his appreciation for the dedication and commitment our staff have shown and that we share our good practice with other trusts. This is something we already do and will continue to do, particularly with our neighbouring trusts – who have all been performing very well in emergency care over the last few months.
“This is not just a fantastic result for staff in the emergency department but for all staff across the trust. I am really proud to work in an organisation with staff with such commitment and determination to continue to improve.”