Mixed Results for Health Services in Annual Checks
Hospitals "good" but NHS Hammersmith and Fulham only "fair"
Local health services have had mixed results in the NHS Performance Ratings, the health check carried out annually by the Care Quality Commission.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which comprises local hospitals Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea, St Mary's and Western Eye, has been rated as good for the quality of its services and financial management in this year’s annual health check.
However, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham have only been rated as fair.
In this year, 2008/09, Imperial College Healthcare Trust met all of its existing national targets, including waiting times for both A&E and inpatients, and it also scored excellent for its performance against new national targets set in 2008 – including incidents of C.difficile and MRSA, waiting times for cancer patients and NHS staff satisfaction.
Under patient-focused targets, Imperial College Healthcare scored top marks for dignity and respect and keeping the public healthy. Safety and cleanliness received a score of 13/14. However, in the standard of privacy and confidentiality, the Trust declared itself non-compliant, as it still has not completely eliminated mixed sex accommodation. The Trust hopes to put this right by April 2010, with a £10 million programme to get rid of single sex wards.
Claire Perry, managing director of the Trust, says: "We are pleased that in our second year as a Trust we have proven that we are continuing to provide a good quality of service to our patients and robust financial management.
"We are continuously learning as we grow as a Trust and as the UK’s first academic health science centre. Our goal is to achieve an excellent rating in all areas in future health checks."
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham however, achieved only a fair rating, weaker than last year's good. It fell down on areas such as access to a GP, breast screening and dental treatment services, and helping people stop smoking, though it did achieve its targets in areas such as waiting times for cancer patients and staff satisfaction.
Sarah Whiting, Managing Director of NHS Hammersmith and Fulham, says: "The rating of fair is a disappointment, but there has been a lot of improvement in the first six months of this year.
"Key targets we missed on smoking and Chlamydia screening are currently performing well. More Chlamydia tests have been carried out in the last six months than in the whole of 2008/09.
"Over 1,800 local people have already set a quit date with our stop smoking service this year. What’s more, we’ve invested an extra £300,000 into the service to provide the long-term support needed for this good work to continue."
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham is now pumping over £6 million into improving services, in particular access to GPs and nurses. "More than two thirds of local practices are now open for longer hours with morning, evening and weekend clinics available. We’ve also opened two seven-day-a-week GP practices at Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals since April this year," says Sarah. "But we know some local people still struggle to get an appointment with a GP when they want one. We’re determined to fix this.
"Easy access to high quality GP care is the foundation of all the major improvements we’re planning in the years ahead."
October 20, 2009