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Right Arrow Southport and Ormskirk is best performing Advancing Quality hospital
18 June 2010 at 12:35

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has been named the best performing hospital overall in the North West by Advancing Quality in results published today (June 18).

Advancing Quality (AQ) is an innovative initiative backed by NHS North West that aims to reduce complications, lengths of hospital stay and readmission rates for patients in regularly performed treatments including heart attacks, hip and knee surgery, pneumonia and heart failure.

The Trust’s scores in its four treatment areas were consistently high performing showing how successfully our doctors and nurses, and other clinical staff, are delivering to the agreed quality standards for their patients.

Factors driving the Trust’s success include continuing what we already do well, improving discharge arrangements, introducing new patient information and enhancing training for staff. In recognition of this strong performance, the Trust will receive a financial incentive to invest back into patient care.

Dr Geraldine Boocock, medical director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The AQ programme focuses on helping doctors and nurses deliver the best possible quality care for all patients all of the time.

“As a Trust, we work hard to achieve the highest possible standards and these results highlight our commitment to providing excellent patient care.

“They are also a credit to the hard work of our staff and will give extra confidence to patients choosing to be treated at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals.”

Trust chairman Sir Ron Watson CBE said: "We are all extremely pleased with these results which show our total commitment to high quality patient care.
“We combine this as a Trust with a safe and friendly service and are conscious of the very important part we play in our community where health issues are of such importance."

AQ was launched in October 2008 with 24 Trusts across the North West participating and scores how well trusts are delivering against key quality of care measures.

From today patients can find out more about the scores and compare them with hospitals across the region by visited:  

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Telephone 01704 704494 | 07599 754833

Notes for editors

What were the Trust’s scores?
The Trust’s scores were: heart attacks (99.2%); hip and knee surgery (96.9%); pneumonia (94.75%); and heart failure (83.46%). The Trust does not perform the fifth treatment area, heart bypass grafts, and could, therefore, not be measured on them.

Why has AQ been introduced?
The programme is part of the North West Health system’s drive to improve health outcomes for patients, while prudently managing costs. At its core is a strong focus on making quality an operating principle for health reform and development.

It is anticipated the programme will improve quality by reducing complications, hospital stays and readmissions. This will help providers to reduce their costs safely, allowing them to reinvest savings in improving facilities and care.

It will also establish a benchmark for good value in commissioning and drives commissioning for quality not just volume.

How does AQ work?
It incentivises improvement in the quality of care provided to patients undergoing treatments in these areas by measuring against three areas that are clear and easy to understand for NHS staff, patients and the public:

- Clinical process and outcomes - the quality of clinical care that has been delivered to patients

- Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) - the improvement of a patient’s quality of life following a clinical treatment or surgery

- Patient experience measures - the patient’s general experience of hospital care

For each of the areas of clinical practice, a series of process measures and outcomes have been identified. Clinicians are responsible for ensuring the clinical process measures are followed and that data is collected (manually and/or through existing electronic systems) and outcomes monitored. This helps them to identify where improvements can be made.

What does AQ mean for clinicians and their patients?
The programme will give GPs and their patients access to comprehensive data collected against the indicator measures. As patients increasingly seek to make their own choices about where to seek treatment and look for data to drive informed decision-making, AQ data will also inform discussions with GPs.