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Bexley PCT in the country's bottom ten

PUBLISHED: 18:11 15 September 2010

Health policy expert John Lister

Health policy expert John Lister

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A health Trust has been ranked as one of the worst in the country according to an official report.

Bexley Care Trust, which has paid off £17 million in debt over the last three years, came in the bottom 10 scoring Primary Care Trusts in the World Class Commissioning reports which scrutinise management and if appropriate services are commissioned for the area.

This comes after the coalition government announced plans to scrap PCTs with GPs taking over their commissioning functions. The plans are outlined in a White Paper and is under public consultation until November.

Staff at Queen Mary’s Hospital, in Sidcup, have already seen their accident and emergency units closed overnight and the plans drawn up by Bexley Care Trust’s bosses to axe the department permanently are currently under consultation for the second time.

Health policy expert John Lister said: “I don’t know many PCTs staff that go out of their way to make sure that their local hospital is closed down.

“It is not as if local people are getting a better service as a result as they will have to travel longer to a different hospital. That is not a very good use of local money which is supposed to be spent on local healthcare.”

The report is based on 49 factors, relating to how well PCT staff govern in terms of finance and strategy and how competent they are at ensuring a high quality, efficient and effective service.

A spokesperson for Bexley Care Trust said: “World Class Commissioning was meant to be a national programme aimed at improving the way NHS services were commissioned. The emphasis now is on enabling GPs to do it to a consistently high standard.

The Care Trust was recognised for strong performance in a number of areas, including clinical engagement and working with the local authority. The report said: ‘The panel observed a focus on quality improvement that permeated every activity and discussion’, adding that the Trust ‘has done commendable work on clinical engagement and building a culture of improvement’ and ‘the PCT demonstrated multiple examples of innovation’.”

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