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Minister praises James Paget hospital

PUBLISHED: 08:53 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:31 05 July 2010

THE health secretary has written to the James Paget University Hospital, at Gorleston, to congratulate it on its performance.

It was one of 42 NHS trusts out of 391 in the country to be rated as excellent for both its quality of services and management of finances in the Healthcare Commission's annual health check.

THE health secretary has written to the James Paget University Hospital, at Gorleston, to congratulate it on its performance.

It was one of 42 NHS trusts out of 391 in the country to be rated as excellent for both its quality of services and management of finances in the Healthcare Commission's annual health check.

Trusts were rated on a four-point scale, from weak to excellent.

The East of England Ambulance Trust and NHS Yarmouth and Waveney have been rated as weak on both counts - two of just six trusts in the country to get the worst score in both areas. NHS Yarmouth and Waveney failed on important issues including confidentiality of patient information and the standard of the patient environment.

Health secretary Alan Johnson and Healthcare Commission chairman Sir Ian Kennedy have sent letters publicly congratulating staff at 57 of the best NHS trusts in the country, including the James Paget.

The letter says: “Your organisation has achieved a level of performance that all trusts should aspire to.”

Fiona Goodall, area manager for the Healthcare Commission, said: “The overall picture in the region is of improvement, but there are some trusts that are not doing so well. There is nothing that is so unsafe or significant that we need to intervene or close them down but we want them to take urgent action to improve standards.”

The full results are:

James Paget Hospital - rated as excellent on both counts.

John Hemming, chairman, said: “We are delighted to achieve this rating which demonstrates our continuous improvement in patient care and our use of resources. It recognises the Trust as a top performer. It is a proud day for patients, staff and everyone associated with the hospital and demonstrates that investments made are benefitting patients and their care. The Trust's governors council, representing our 13,159 members, has been involved in this process by submitting their own comments to the Healthcare Commission to inform this very positive outcome.”

Adrian Pennington, chief executive, said: “This is a landmark result for the Trust and a reflection of the enormous effort and commitment from all our staff. I am personally very proud to be leading this successful organisation. Our efforts to listen to the patient's experience and strive to improve the care we provide are showing results. We continue to work with the public and patients to get even more feedback to enable us to further enhance services that meet our patients' needs. Patients can be confident that they have a high performing hospital on their doorstep.”

Nick Coveney, director of nursing and patient services said: “This accolade highlights the achievements that the Trust's staff have made. We do all we can to maintain and improve on the high standards that we already have in place. We know that privacy and dignity is a very important issue for our patients and in five wards we have reduced the bays from six beds to four beds as well as creating a new single sex facility. We are also currently developing a new 22 bedded ward facility, opening next year, that will provide state of the art infection prevention facilities.

“The Trust has seen dramatic improvements over the last three/four years in the management of infections, with the lowest ever position currently recorded for MRSA and Clostridium Difficile (Cdiff). The Trust is being used as an exemplar site for MRSA improvement and we are one of the best performing Trusts in England on Cdiff. Our levels of cleanliness were confirmed by the award in November 2007 for the best cleaned hospital in England. We will be working with patients, relatives, our governors council and the new Local Involvement Networks to continue to drive up the quality of services over the coming months.”

Julie Cave, director of finance and performance at the Trust, added: “For the second year running the Trust performed very well and achieved an excellent rating for use of resources. This reflects the importance of striking a balance between quality, use of resource and management of the organisation. The excellent/excellent rating shows that we have achieved a good balance. We continue to invest in services, having spent £6m in capital projects last year. The Trust's recent announcement of the £5m expansion of our training and education centre will only enhance the services this Trust provides to its patients.'

Mr Pennington concluded by saying: “I would like to thank our local commissioner, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, for their continued support and investment. This allows us to improve our services for the benefit of all our patients and has enabled the Trust to achieve this rating. This partnership working reflects the primary care trust's vision for the population of Great Yarmouth and Waveney to have the fastest improving health in England.”

East of England Ambulance Trust - weak on both counts. It received its score for quality because of mistakes in recording response times. Chief executive Hayden Newton said: “This score does not reflect on the care we provide to the public in the east of England.”

He said that since April, the average response to potentially life-threatening calls had got a minute faster, despite an increase in the number of 999 calls.

NHS Yarmouth and Waveney - weak on both counts. The rating for quality of care was because it failed to meet core standards.

Chief executive Mike Stonard said that the failings were mostly to do with record-keeping.

He said that they had failed on confidentiality of information because, although staff are given information at induction, it was not reinforced after that - which has now changed. The issue on the standard of the environment was because some equipment was not being kept safe. New policies have now been drawn up to stop this. He said: “If the Healthcare Commission visited tomorrow they would see a significant improvement.”

Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust - rated good for quality of services and excellent for use of resources, an improvement on its score for use of resources last year.

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