Health trusts im­prov­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Competition - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

HOSPI­TAL and pri­mary care trusts cov­er­ing Ash­ford and Shep­way have per­formed bet­ter over the last year, a watch­dog re­port says.

East Kent Hos­pi­tals Uni­ver­sity NHS Trust and East­ern and Coastal Kent Pri­mary Care Trust have both im­proved, ac­cord­ing to NHS per­for­mance rat­ings pub­lished by the Health­care Com­mis­sion last week.

The PCT went up from the sta­tus “weak” in 2006/07 to “fair” in 2007/08 in the qual­ity of ser­vices cat­e­gory. Over the same pe­riod it rose from “fair” to “good” in use of re­sources.

The hos­pi­tals trust, in charge of Ash­ford’s William Har­vey, went up from “weak” to “fair” in use of re­sources over that time and main­tained its sta­tus of “fair” for qual­ity of ser­vices.

Sam Banga, the Com­mis­sion’s head of re­gion for Lon­don and the South East, said: “The NHS in the South East has demon­strated some good suc­cesses.

“In par­tic­u­lar, the re­gion has made some im­pres­sive im­prove­ments in the way it man­ages its fi­nan­cial re­sources.

“How­ever the re­sults show that, com­pared to other re­gions, the South East Coast is one of the weak­est ar­eas in the coun­try for its qual­ity of ser­vices. We are aware that ef­forts are be­ing made to im­prove.”

The re­port pub­lished per­for­mance rat­ings for all NHS trusts in Eng­land, in­clud­ing for 26 in the South East Coast re­gion.

The rat­ings range was “ex­cel­lent,” “good,” “fair,” and “weak.”

Stu­art Bain, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the hos­pi­tals trust, said; “I am de­lighted to see that over­all we have im­proved since last year but dis­ap­pointed that the ex­cel­lent work our staff have been do­ing has not been fully recog­nised.

“Be­cause the in­for­ma­tion for this sur­vey was col­lected some months ago its con­clu­sions are in­evitably out of date and do not give an ac­cu­rate pic­ture of where the trust is to­day.

“We are de­scribed as fair in the use of re­sources when we should be ex­cel­lent be­cause we achieved a £7.5 mil­lion sur­plus last year and are pre­dict­ing over £12 mil­lion this year.”

Ann Sut­ton, PCT chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “I am de­lighted to see that we have im­proved in both qual­ity of ser­vices and use of re­sources.”

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