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Right Arrow Trust achieves highest possible accolade for safety
01 May 2008 at 14:29
Patients choosing Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust will be choosing one of the safest Trusts in the country, an independent health watchdog has confirmed. We have been awarded the highest level under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) for both general medical and surgical services and for the separate category of maternity services and are now one of only three Hospitals in England to have achieved this.

CNST assesses the risks patients face when they attend a hospital by measuring the systems in place to minimise such risks and then judges the Trust accordingly. We have therefore been declared to have the lowest level of risk for patients among District General Hospitals.

During March the NHS Litigation Authority carried out an assessment on our Maternity services and has just awarded it the highest level three. This follows the level three awarded for general acute services in February 2006.

Because of this award, we are able to save money on our insurance premium as we are assessed to have a reduced risk this means a saving of around £600,000.

Lynne Eastham, Head of Maternity Services said, “This is a wonderful achievement for both our patients and staff. It has confirmed what we have always believed that maternity services are committed to providing the safest possible standards of care for mothers and babies. It has shown that the systems we have in place that are based on national guidelines are monitored continually and any changes necessary are carried out straight away. Our staff can be very proud of all the hard work that they have put in to achieve these awards.

A win-win situation
Sir Ron Watson, Chairman, said, “This is fabulous news for our patients. Coming into hospital is often a very anxious time but in gathering the evidence for this assessment it became apparent that everyone right throughout the Trust treats safety very seriously. It has taken many years of very hard work by everyone from the cleaners to the doctors and they should be proud of what they have achieved.

“The Government continually requires us to save money and people understandably worry that this may mean fewer or poorer services. This is an excellent example of where, through a lot of hard work, we have been able to cut costs and provide an improved service to patients. It is a win-win situation.

“This is as good a guarantee as you will get about the competence of the staff who treat you. In the era of free choice where patients are asked to choose the hospital where they want to go, I would urge patients to look very carefully at the safety record of the choices on offer”.

Notes to Editors

1. The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) was established in 1995 in order to provide a means for NHS Trusts to focus their clinical risk management systems effectively and therefore improve patient care. The assessment looks at how the Trusts manage the risks involved in patient care. It sets out seven Standards: Learning from Experience; Response to Major Clinical Incidents; Advice and Consent; Health Records; Induction, Training and Competence; Implementation of Clinical Risk Management; Clinical Care. The assessment grades Trusts as Level I, II or III, with level III being the highest achievement.

2. Only 14 Trusts in the country have a level III award for general acute services and only 31 who have level III for maternity services. There are two others Trust in the country with level three for both general acute services and maternity services and these are both Foundation Trusts.

3. These awards are made by the NHS Litigation Authority, which is responsible for handling negligence claims made against NHS bodies. They also have an active risk management programme to help raise standards of care in the NHS and hence reduce the number of incidents in hospitals.

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

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714