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Hospitals meeting care targets

PUBLISHED: 18:30 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 25 August 2010

A HEALTH watchdog s annual report on NHS trusts revealed that hospitals are meeting most of their targets.

A HEALTH watchdog's annual report on NHS trusts revealed that hospitals are meeting most of their targets.

Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trust (QMS) and Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust (BHT) give 'fair' patient service, the Healthcare Commission's annual performing ratings revealed last Thursday.

Every trust in the country was rated, with hospital trusts required to meet 43 core standards set by the Department of Health.

Whilst BHT dropped a grade from 'good' to 'fair' after meeting 37 standards, Woolwich's Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust (QEH) maintained its 'good' rating having met 41 core standards.

BHT failed to show it was up to scratch in six areas and was among just 1.2 per cent to fail the 'honesty' standard, concerning openness and accountability. QMS only failed its decontamination core standard but received a 'fair' rating as it failed two targets for patient bookings.

All three hospital trusts were 'weak' in their use of resources because each are in debt, notably BHT which has £101 million accumulated debt.

A spokesman for QEH, which is in £5.5 million debt, said: "The first thing we want to do is to stop having a 'weak' for our finances and to do that we must break even."

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley were rated 'excellent', 'good', and 'fair' accordingly for their use of resources.

All received a 'fair' rating for quality of services, yet none of the PCTs met the target to allow patients see a doctor within two days.

The HC found that just 31 per cent of PCTs met this target - a figure disputed by health secretary Alan Johnson on Radio 4's Today programme.

Mr Johnson said: "I think we have to look very hard at how the Healthcare Commission has produced its figures.

"We have an independent survey of patients asking them about these things and we found in our latest survey that 87 per cent could book 48 hours in advance." Mental health services provided by NHS foundation trusts South London and Maudsley, as well as Oxleas, met all their targets and were rated excellent in all areas.

To see the full HC results visit www.healthcarecommission.org.uk.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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