Annual health check published
The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded a rating of ‘fair’ for quality of services and ‘weak’ for use of resources in the Healthcare Commission’s annual health check for 2007/08.
Commenting on the assessment, Chief Executive of The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust Fiona Wise said: “This rating is very disappointing, particularly knowing how hard our staff have worked over the last year to make improvements to services.
“There are three ways in which quality of services is measured. We fully met the Commission’s core standards and existing national targets – an improvement on the previous year. But our score of ‘fair’ for new national targets means that we can only achieve an overall rating of ‘fair’ for quality of services.
“I want all patients to have a good experience at our hospitals and this will remain our number one priority. We are already acting on what patients have told us and I am confident we will be able to improve in this area.
“We can still be proud of our many achievements. We are now meeting the A&E four hour waiting time target despite ever increasing numbers of people attending our departments at Northwick Park and Central Middlesex hospitals. Reducing infections continues to be a top priority for us. MRSA cases are down by more than a third compared to the previous year and we met targets to reduce the number of cases of Clostridium difficile. We also achieved 12 out of 13 for other assessments around cleanliness and safety.”
For the use of resources rating of ‘weak’, the Trust was assessed against part of the Audit Commission’s Auditors’ Local Evaluation (ALE) Assessment which covers five areas including financial reporting, financial management, financial standing, internal control and value for money.
Fiona Wise added: “The rating of ‘weak’ for resources relates mainly to our historic deficit from previous years which we have now started to pay back. It is important to note that other areas of the assessment were found to be good, such as ensuring value for money and financial management. We also ended the last financial year with a small surplus.”
Note to editors
- The quality of services rating is made up of:
- The Healthcare Commission’s core (basic) standards – the Trust had an overall score of ‘fully met’ which compares to ‘almost met’ in 2006/07. The Trust was compliant with 40 out of 43 standards which cover safety, patient focus, clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness.
- Existing national targets – the Trust had an overall score of ‘fully met’ which compares to ‘almost met’ in 2006/07. The Trust achieved seven out of the 10 existing targets including waiting times, offering operations within 28 days after they have been cancelled and ensuring rapid access to chest pain clinics and shorter waiting times for revascularisation.
- New national targets – overall score of ‘fair’ which compares to a score of ‘good’ in 2006/07. The Trust achieved four out of the 10 new national targets such reducing teenage pregnancies and improving health outcomes for people with long-term conditions. The Trust failed to meet standards around improving patient experience.
- The Trust achieved scores of two and three in some of the ALE standards such as financial management and the organisation's consideration of value for money. However, it was given an overall score of 1 because of its historic deficit.
- The Trust had 32 cases of MRSA bacteraemia (where MRSA is present in the blood) in 2007/08 which compares to 51 cases in 2006/07. The target was to reduce the number of cases to 22.