View All News Items :: Search the News Database Search

Right Arrow Healthcare Commission Standards
18 October 2007 at 10:10
The Healthcare Commissions latest ratings in the Annual Health check have shown that Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust have either fully met or achieved all bar three of the standards against which Trusts are measured to judge Quality of Service.

There are in excess of 25 individual indicators and we have fully met all of them within Core Standards, which relate to how safely we deliver clinical care to our patients, and we have fully met all the requirements in meeting targets such as waiting times for treatment, patient choice, provision of thrombolytic treatment and length of wait in A&E. Indeed we scored the highest possible marks in these indicators.

Within the third category covering new national targets, we were judged to have achieved the vast majority of these, including reducing waiting times towards the 18 week target between referral and treatment, ensuring patients are fully involved in decisions about their health care and ensuring access to GUM clinics with 48 hours. Also within this category, although we were judged to have under achieved our target for cutting MRSA rates, we still have among the lowest rates for MRSA in the country.

One of the new targets requires us to reduce the number of mums-to-be who smoke during pregnancy and increase the number of mums who choose to breast feed. We work very closely with the PCT Smoking Cessation Teams referring patients who wish to be, offering written advice and having a number of midwives trained in smoking intervention. We have a number of measures in place to promote breastfeeding including written information for mothers, an out of hours helpline and the development of a peer support network as well as working towards accreditation to the UNICEF ‘Baby Friendly’ initiative. Despite all this we were judged to have missed this target.

We also narrowly missed the new target for the number of patients to who we are able to spend at least 50% of their stay in a dedicated stroke care bed. The various initiatives to improve timely discharge of patients from hospital will assist in ensuring in the future that all patients, including those who have had a stroke, are admitted to the most appropriate bed.

Irrespective of all the excellent work that has been done and continues to be done, because of missing these two targets we have been judged by the Healthcare Commission to only provide a Fair Quality of Service.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive and Sir Ron Watson, Chairman said they were extremely pleased to have achieved so much but concerned that the Trust has only been judged as Fair. Mr Parry added “We believe the score we have been given does not fully reflect the overall care and service given by our staff to our patients. All our staff have worked extremely hard to meet all the standards and to have narrowly missed in just two is very disappointing.”

In the light of the weighting that appears to have been applied to the two specific missed indicators, the Trust feels that the grading of Fair misrepresents the overall quality of services we provide and we will be lodging a formal appeal with the Healthcare commission requesting a full review.

On the second standard, Use of Resources, we have been judged as Weak. This was purely due to the fact that we still had a slight deficit at the end of the last financial year. However, we are currently predicting financial balance by the end of this year after delivering our promise regarding our financial recovery.

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714