Half of NHS trusts weak12th October 2006
More than half of NHS organisations across England must improve, according to a new report from the Healthcare Commission.
All but two of the 570 organisations assessed were found to be below standard in the quality of their services or their financial management, under the new performance check, which replaced the old star ratings system.
The watchdog looked at many of the same areas covered under the old ratings including, clinical care, meeting government targets and areas such as children's health, hospital acquired infection rates and community mental health care. A separate financial management rating looked at how the organisation ran its finances more generally, as well as the overall balance sheet.
Any trusts which receive a weak rating in any of the indicators have to put together an action plan on how they will improve within 30 days. The commission found 51 per cent of trusts were ranked "fair" for quality of services, while nine per cent were weak. The only two which received excellent in both categorties were Harrogate and District and The Royal Marsden (specialist cancer hospital). A total of 47 per cent of hospitals were ranked fair for financial management, with 37 per cent deemed weak. Eight hospitals were ranked as weak on both quality of service and financial management. No PCTS ranked excellent for their financial management, while just 24 out of the total of 204 were ranked as good. Less than half were deemed to have good quality of service.
While opposition party spokesmen weighed in at the horror of hospitals failing to achieve better results as further evidence of Labour’s mismanagement of the NHS, the NHS Confederation said underperforming trusts could now focus on areas where improvement was needed. The weak hospitals in both areas were: Barnet and Chase Farm, Mid Cheshire, Mid Yorkshire, Northern Devon, Royal Cornwall, Surrey and Sussex, Weston Area Health and West Hertfordshire.
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Title: Half of NHS trusts weak
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 896
Date Added: 12th Oct 2006