The Annual Health Check replaces the old ‘star rating’ system for assessing Trust’s performance and is now tougher and favours a broader assessment of how services are provided for patients and the quality of care and treatment they receive.
As part of the Annual Health Check the Trust received an overall Excellent for use of resources. As the Trust received a fair rating for new targets, it defaulted to an overall Fair for the quality of services.
Key to the overall assessment is the focus on ‘getting the basics right’. This is achieved through a number of core standards, existing national targets and the way in which Trusts have used their resources. The Commission then looks at what Trusts have been doing to maintain progress through a smaller number of new targets and topic based reviews.
Dr Frank Harsent, Chief Executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said: "The annual health check provides a much broader and tougher assessment than previous systems put in place to measure a hospital’s performance and it is essential that Trusts meet the core standards. In meeting all national core standards at Salisbury District Hospital, we acknowledge the enormous commitment and professionalism of our staff."
The core standards focus on a wide range of systems that ensure clinical risks are managed effectively and that hospitals use patient’s views and experiences to develop services. Cleanliness, hygiene standards and issues around dignity are just some of the aspects covered within seven key themes that make up the Core Standards: These are:
- Care Environment and Amenities
- Clinical Cost Effectiveness
- Patient Focus
- Accessible and Responsive Care
- Public Health.
Existing national targets take into account inpatient, outpatient and cancer waiting times, cancelled operations and delayed transfers of care, with use of resources focusing on financial management and reporting with an emphasis on efficiency, effectiveness and value for money. The three topics covered in the review section cover Medicines Management, Hospital Admissions and Diagnostics.
Dr Frank Harsent said: "The rating shows that throughout the core standards the Trust has performed well, with good systems in place to tackle the things that matter most to our patients – the provision of good quality safe care."
"Low MRSA rates maintained the Trust’s position as one of the best performing hospitals in the country, reflecting the high priority placed on infection prevention and control and the considerable amount of work carried out throughout the year in this area. The Trust also performed well on hospital cleanliness. "
"We met all inpatient, outpatient and cancer waiting time targets as well the national targets for financial management. Efficient use of resources is a key factor in the Annual Health Check and good financial management is essential to the organisation and its overriding aim of providing good quality health services."
Although the Trust performed well overall, it acknowledges that there are areas where improvements are needed. This is mainly around the new targets that are being introduced to cover public health issues. Responsibility is now widening to ensure that these are not only picked up at GP level, but also in hospitals when patients are referred for treatment.
Dr Harsent said: " The Annual Health Check takes into account the drive within the NHS to widen responsibility for improving people’s health, with hospital’s now starting to have a role to play in this area. Although the Trust achieved the smoking indicator within the new national targets, it did not meet the target on processes that help patients who misuse drugs and will also need to improve on its processes for identifying and managing obesity in secondary care. This was fundamental to the Trust and influenced the overall rating for quality of services. "
In the review section the Trust scored well on management of admissions (Good), medicines management (Good) and diagnostic services (Excellent).
Luke March, Chairman of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust: " Overall, we believe the Annual Health Check provides a positive view of health services at Salisbury District Hospital and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for all their hard work throughout the year. Our achievement reflects their commitment, professionalism and dedication, " he said. Ends