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Right Arrow Hospital scores 'good' in Annual Healthcheck
12 October 2006 at 17:05
In the first Annual Healthcheck the Healthcare Commission have rated the quality of services provided by Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust as ‘Good’. The Annual Healthcheck replaces the star ratings for NHS organisations and are a much more stringent assessment of a whole range of topics.

“This is really good news for the people of West Lancashire and Sefton,” said Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive. “The new Healthcheck is the toughest and most comprehensive assessment of the NHS to date and it provides people with detailed and easily understandable information about the performance of their local hospital. I believe this gives our patients reassurance that we are providing safe, clean and friendly care.”

Hospitals are scored either as ‘weak’, ‘fair’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, and only 11 Acute Hospitals have an ‘excellent’ score for quality of service. This puts Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust in the top 34 per cent nationally with over half of all Trusts being ruled only ‘fair’ or ‘weak’. Trusts are measured against a comprehensive range of areas divided into five categories:
· Assessing compliance with core standards of care as determined by the Healthcare Commission
· Meeting existing national targets
· Meeting new national targets
· Improvement Reviews
· The acute hospital portfolio

The Trust fully met all the requirements of the core standards, which cover seven key areas of health and healthcare, including safety, patient focus and clinical and cost effectiveness.

We fully met all the requirements of the existing national targets, which include how patients gain access to the healthcare they need and how long they have to wait for care and treatment in the NHS.

We scored an excellent against the new national targets, which aim to improve the health of the population in England by assessing the contribution of individual healthcare organisations in meeting these new national targets.

Under the category ‘Improvement Reviews’ the Commission looked at Services for children in hospital. They reviewed all our children’s services and again we scored very well, with Emergency Care scoring an excellent.

Similarly under the category ‘The acute hospital portfolio’, we scored an excellent for the ‘Management of medicines’ and good for ‘Admissions processes’.

The Healthcare Commission also looks at finance and the use of resources in a separate classification. As a consequence of having a planned budgetary deficit in 2005/06 we could only achieve a ‘weak’ rating according to the rules of assessment. The Trust is working towards a balanced position through its recovery plan.

More than a third (37 per cent) of trusts received a score of 'weak' and only 16 percent scored ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Whilst the overall score is disappointing, the full assessment found that, in the other key financial areas measured, namely financial reporting, internal control and the organisation's consideration of value for money, the Trust was considered to be ‘good’. In all three instances, the Trust's performance was in the top 30% when benchmarked against other Acute hospitals. The planned deficit, and the automatic weak classification that it attracts, should not in any way detract from the ‘good’ classification for quality of service.

Notes to Editors

More information is available on the Healthcare Commission website at

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714