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Trust gets two ‘good’ ratings in annual health check

15 October 2008

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which runs eight city centre hospitals and the Central Health Clinic, has received two good ratings in the Healthcare Commissions annual health check (for the year April 2007 to March 2008).

The Healthcare Commissions annual health check is the most comprehensive assessment of performance ever undertaken in the NHS, providing a detailed picture of the state of public healthcare in England. Every one of the countrys 391 NHS trusts is involved.

Two main elements make up the annual health check  - use of resources and quality of services.  University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust achieved a score of good for quality of services.  For use of resources, the Trust also achieved a good rating. 

Dr Graham Rich, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, says:

Although we are pleased for patients, staff and local people that the quality of our services have been rated good, we are disappointed to narrowly miss out on an excellent rating this year. 

Despite dropping from excellent to good in this category, our performance has continued to improve in most areas. There are a few areas where we did not do as well as we would have liked and we have already started to address these issues.

We have come a long way on our journey to provide the highest quality healthcare but there is clearly more work to be done if we are to achieve the very highest standards and this organisation will continue to strive for excellence in everything it does.

We are delighted to get a good rating for use of resources, up from fair last year. The Trust is now in a much stronger financial position. This is good news for patients because it allows us to plan ahead with confidence as a Foundation Trust and push ahead with major capital schemes to replace old clinical accommodation with new state-of-the-art buildings.

The Trust has received high scores for clinical performance in every national rating assessment to date.

The quality of services rating uses a range of indicators to measure performance.  The components were separated into three categories:

¢ Existing national targets - The score for this category was fully met.
¢ Assessment of compliance with core standards - The score for this category was almost met.
¢ New national targets - The score for this category was good.

Existing national targets
There were 10 existing targets, of which UH Bristol achieved eight. Those the Trust achieved included:

¢ Maintain a maximum of 26 weeks for inpatients.
¢ Maintain a maximum wait of 13 weeks for an outpatient appointment.
¢ Maintain a maximum wait of two months from urgent referral to treatment for all cancers.
¢ Maintain a maximum waiting time of one month from diagnosis to treatment for all cancers.
¢ Maintain a two week maximum wait for rapid access chest pain clinics.
¢ Maintain a two week maximum wait from urgent GP referral to first outpatient appointment for all urgent suspected cancer referrals.
¢ Maintain the four-hour maximum wait in A&E from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge.
¢ Maintain a three month maximum wait for revascularisation.

Core standards
The Trust achieved an overall almost met score and was compliant with 41 of the 42 core standards components, which cover areas including patient safety, waiting times, whether patients are treated with dignity and whether everything possible is being done to control infection and ensure cleanliness. 

New national targets
The Government's new national targets are goals for the entire NHS, which aim to improve the health of the population in England. UH Bristol attained a good score for this category.   The Trust achieved all but three of the 10 targets.  Those targets the Trust achieved:

¢ Halve the rise in obesity among children by 2010, as part of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole.
¢ Increase the participation of problem drug users in drug treatment programmes by 2008; and increase year on year the proportion of users successfully sustaining or completing treatment programmes.
¢ Reduce health inequalities by 2010.
¢ Reduce the under-18 conception rate by 2010, as part of a broader strategy to improve sexual health.
¢ Secure national improvements in the NHS patient experience by 2008.
¢ Substantially reduce mortality rates by 2010 from suicide and undetermined injury.
¢ Improve health outcomes for people with long term conditions by offering a personalised care plan for vulnerable people most at risk; and reduce emergency bed days by 2008 through improved care in primary care and community settings for people with long term conditions.
Use of resources
The use of resources rating is based on a detailed review of UH Bristol's financial management carried as part of the Audit Commissions Auditors' Local Evaluation assessment, which covers five areas: financial reporting, financial management; financial standing; internal control; and value for money (economy, efficiency and effectiveness).

The Trusts financial standing was found to be strong, as all financial targets were achieved over at least the last three years. All other areas were assessed as good including financial management and value for money.

At the end of this financial year in March, UH Bristol declared a surplus of £12.8 million (with an income of £414.7 million).  The Trust has broken even (or better) for five years in a row.