Our hospitals best in country – study

NHS care in the North-East is the best in the country, according to ratings published today by an independent watchdog.

NHS care in the North-East is the best in the country, according to ratings published today by an independent watchdog.

The Healthcare Commission has released details of its annual health check on all NHS trusts in England.

The survey looks at targets to measure an organisation’s quality of service and use of resources on a scale from weak to excellent.

In the region, 17 of the 23 NHS organisations are rated excellent or good for quality, giving by far the highest score in the country at 74%.

Last year, more than three-quarters gained excellent or good ratings, although some trusts have merged since then.

Seven organisations are also rated excellent or good for use of resources, which includes finances.

Chief executive of NHS North-East Ian Dalton said: “Today’s ratings confirm that the North-East is providing high quality services for health and are a celebration of the hard work of all NHS staff across the region.

“Our ambition now is to go even further and faster to develop excellent health services that lead the field – we want even better results for patients.”

This is the second year of the health check, which replaces the star ratings previously used to measure performance. The new system uses a wide range of criteria to gauge quality and use of resources.

Measurements for quality include how services perform against national standards and targets, for example, driving down waiting times and looking at progress against any reviews which have taken place.

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Queen Elizabeth, Bensham and Dunston Hill Hospitals, is rated good and excellent respectively for quality of services and use of resources.

Trust chief executive Ian Renwick said: “A lot of hard work has been taking place within the trust to improve our facilities and the patient experience and it is very encouraging to see that it is paying off.”

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust scored an excellent in use of resources.

But debt-ridden Northumberland Care Trust scored a weak rating for its use of resources. The trust, with an historical debt of £14m, must save £11.9m to break even in April. A spokesperson said the trust had saved £7m so far this financial year.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs North Tyneside, Wansbeck and Hexham District General Hospitals, “under achieved” against last year’s MRSA target and scored a fair in the quality of services category.

The trust would have gained a good rating for that category had it not been for an administration error relating to an incorrect inflated figure for emergency bed days, it said.

Bosses have requested a review of the assessment to correct the mistake.

To see the ratings for your health trust go to page 2

NORTH East Strategic Health Authority - performance ratings for all NHS organisations 2007

1: Quality of service

2: Use of resources

PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS

County Durham PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

Darlington PCT

1 Fair

2 Weak

Hartlepool PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

North Tees PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

Middlesbrough PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

Redcar and Cleveland PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

Newcastle PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

Northumberland Care Trust

1 Fair

2 Weak

North Tyneside PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

Gateshead PCT

1 Good

2 Fair

South Tyneside PCT

1 Excellent

2 Fair

Sunderland TPCT

1 Fair

2 Fair

HOSIPTAL TRUSTS

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

1 Good

2 Good

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

1 Fair

2 Excellent

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

1 Good

2 Excellent

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

1 Good

2 Excellent

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust

1 Fair

2 Fair

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

1 Fair

2 Good

South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust

1 Excellent

2 Fair

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust

1 Good

2 Excellent

MENTAL HEALTH TRUSTS

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

1 Good

2 Fair

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust

1 Excellent

2 Good

AMBULANCE TRUST

North East Ambulance NHS Trust

1 Good

2 Fair

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