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NHS performance figures published

The Care Quality Commission, England's healthcare regulator, has published performance data for all 392 Trusts in England

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), England's healthcare regulator, has published performance data for all 392 Trusts in England.

The structure of the rating given to each Trust depends on the type of trust under evaluation. Of the 392 Trusts assessed in 2008/09 there were:
• 169 acute and specialist Trusts
• 152 primary care Trusts (PCTs)
• 57 mental health Trusts
• 11 ambulance Trusts
• Three learning disability and other Trusts.

Patients were shown to have received a better service in 2008/09 than previously, with more people receiving treatment within 18 weeks of referral, fewer people having to wait more than four hours to be seen in A&E, improvements in cancer waiting times and a decrease in cases of the hospital bugs MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Each Trust was marked either 'excellent', 'good', 'fair' or 'weak' in both quality and financial management. Overall, 37 Trusts were assessed as 'double excellent' (with 13 of these achieving the mark for the second year running) and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust was the only Trust to be marked as 'double weak'.

Cynthia Bower, CQC chief executive, said: "The NHS has performed well on quality, which is good news in the face of a rigorous assessment. Those rated 'excellent' deserve to be commended – it is not easy to achieve this rating and missing just one standard could drop the score. Trusts rated 'good' have also performed strongly.

"But it is clear that some Trusts are struggling and that some issues are proving tough nuts to crack. My biggest concern is those Trusts that are 'weak' and persistently 'weak' or 'fair'. They must do better for their patients."

The CQC plans to develop its assessment of regulation further to become more patient and outcomes focused. From next year, in order to legally function, Trusts will need to register with the CQC.

Responding to the Care Quality Commission's NHS ratings, health minister Mike O'Brien said: "This is the most rigorous assessment of standards that the NHS has ever seen, carried out by a new independent regulator who we established and tasked with making sure the toughest standards are enforced routinely across the system.  This makes it difficult to compare with previous years but is essential as we move towards registration of all NHS services.

"For the small number of Trusts whose performance is weak, we expect immediate action to be taken to remedy this quickly and to prepare for registration with the CQC next year.  Earlier this year we introduced a tough new performance regime and will not hesitate to trigger this if we need to."

The regulator is keen for the public to get involved and is encouraging people to comment online, via the Care Quality Commission website or NHS Choices website, about both their local services and the NHS as a whole.

15th October 2009

From: Healthcare

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