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Right Arrow Star Ratings - PR/15/0405
28 July 2005 at 13:07
In the performance ratings issued today by the Government, Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has been awarded one star out of a possible three. This is a drop of one star on last year’s performance.

The star ratings, published by the Healthcare Commission, judge the performance of the Trust against set targets in four main areas; Key Targets, Clinical Focus, Patient Focus and Capacity & Capability.

Unfortunately this year the trust only achieved six out of eight Key Targets on:
• All emergency admission via A&E within 12 hours
• All suspected cancer patients seen within 2 weeks
• No outpatients waiting longer than the standard for an appointment
• Total time in A&E of 4 hours or less
• No patient waiting longer than the standard for an elective (inpatient and day case) admission
• Hospital Cleanliness

The two areas where the Trust fell short of our own expectations were in:
• Outpatient and elective booking
• Financial Management

However, the Trust came in the top band nationally for Clinical focus and Patient focus performance.

Commenting on the star ratings, the Trust’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Parry, said, “The Trust is disappointed to have lost a star and it is a great shame that as far as the public are concerned this will detract from the high performance in the areas of Clinical and Patient focus. I want to take this opportunity to praise the staff and say that despite the announcement today I am very proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment shown by all Trust Staff.”

He said, “To some extent we are victims of our own success. We are getting more and more patients being referred to us from outside of our normal catchment area, which has meant that we have not been as successful on the target for outpatient and elective bookings as we would want. Although we did hit the target by the end of the year, we had not managed to do so during the year.”

Mr Parry went on; “This, however is linked to the other area where we have not achieved success, and which has led to us loosing a star; financial management. As I have said, we have had a lot of referrals from areas outside of Southport & Formby and West Lancashire. Normally, the Primary Care Trust where the patient lives is responsible for paying for the patient’s care and treatment when they are in hospital. Unfortunately this has not always happened and as a result, we have ended the year with an unplanned expenditure of £1.2million. Clearly we are going to have to look at ways of recouping this and we are already looking at how we can improve the efficiency of the Trust.”

Over the coming months the emphasis will be put on improvements to planned services with more day case surgery. It is also planned to work towards shorter lengths of stay with admissions on the day of the operation rather than the night before as pre-operation assessment clinics are introduced.

This is the final year that performance ratings will be produced in their current format known as the star ratings. The Healthcare Commission has developed a new system for assessment following an extensive consultation with patients, clinicians, NHS managers and the public.

Next year will see the introduction of the new NHS annual health check - with a new system of assessing and rating healthcare bodies which will not only highlight performance in relation to targets but much more about what is actually going on inside the health service.

The new approach will be risk-based, targeted and proportionate. The new results will provide patients and the public with a very clear but also much richer picture of the performance of our health services while ensuring inspection resources go where we will have most impact.

There will also be fewer national and more local targets and an assessment of how trusts are performing in areas such as patient safety, leadership, and public health, incorporating information from other regulators, levels of unresolved complaints and Healthcare Commission investigations.

Notes to Editors

The star ratings are not only based on the performance against the eight Key Targets but also against what is known as a ‘balanced scorecard’ in three areas; Clinical focus, Patient focus and Capacity & capability with a total of 30 different categories. Some of the categories where we have achieved a score of 5 out of 5 are:

In Clinical focus:
• Child protection
• Care of stroke patients
• Care of patients who have had a heart attack

In Patient focus
• A&E waiting time – patients seen and discharged or admitted within four hours
• Better hospital food
• Breast cancer – one month from diagnosis to treatment
• Waiting time for rapid access chest pain clinic

The trust also scored 4 out of 5 in four categories and 3 out of 5 in a further 14.

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714