Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital rated 'excellent' by independent healthcare watchdog

PUBLISHED: 11:55 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:48 10 June 2010

AN independent healthcare watchdog has rated the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital 'excellent' for its quality of services and financial performance.

AN independent healthcare watchdog has rated the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital 'excellent' for its quality of services and financial performance.

The South West is the most improved NHS region,

A report by the Healthcare Commission has revealed.

The RD&E Hospital is one of 10 hospitals nationwide to achieve the double rating.

Some 86 per cent of NHS organisations in the South West have improved in this year's Annual Health Check - highlighting better NHS services for local patients.

NHS patients in the South West are now receiving amongst the best services and treatment in the country, following a year of significant progress.

Across the South West, NHS services have been transformed during the last year, with more than twice the number of NHS organisations achieving top scores ("excellent" or "good") from the independent watchdog, the Healthcare Commission.

The South West is the most improved region for quality of services. Out of 40 NHS organisations in the South West, an impressive 34 improved their ratings this year.

Ian Biggs, the Healthcare Commission's head of region for the South West, said: "The NHS in the South West has demonstrated some real successes and this is to be celebrated. It is particularly notable that the South West has improved more than any other region in England on its quality of services. This is good news for patients and local people."

In its third annual health check, the Healthcare Commission has rated 73 per cent of NHS organisations in the South West as 'good' or 'excellent' for quality of services, compared to 30 per cent in 2006/7.

Furthermore, 73 per cent of NHS organisations are rated as 'good' or 'excellent' for use of resources, compared to 35 per cent the previous year.

Only three NHS organisations were given the lowest score of 'weak' for quality of services, compared to eight the previous year, and none were rated weak for use of resources compared to ten (25 per cent) last year.

Sir Ian Carruthers, OBE, chief executive of the South West strategic health authority, said: "NHS staff across the South West have focused relentlessly on improving NHS services, treatment and care during the past year, and their fantastic achievements are highlighted today.

"The findings from the independent Healthcare Commission demonstrate that NHS patients and service users are receiving good services from the NHS. And in a massive improvement from last year, these services in the South West are now amongst the best in the country."

Liz Redfern, director of patient care and nursing said: "Patients tell us that they want better and more consistent high-quality services from local organisations. The results this year clearly show that, aside from very few areas, patients in the South West can receive very good care, treatment and services."

Top-performing Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is the only NHS organisation in the South West and one of only 10 acute and specialist hospitals in the country to achieve a double "excellent" rating for both quality of services and financial performance for the second year running. Others achieving double top scores this year are the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The ratings this year, however, do point to three areas in the South West, where patients are not receiving the services they expect.

Despite the good work of NHS staff in the three NHS organisations rated "weak" for quality of services, action plans are now required urgently at Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Great Western Ambulance NHS Trust.

Sir Ian Carruthers OBE said: "These weak-rated trusts are clear about the improvements required and we and the Healthcare Commission will be working closely with them to ensure that they deliver to the necessary standards and improve their ratings next year."

Other highlights for the South West include:

* There are no double "weak" ratings compared to six last year.

* Three NHS organisations were "excellent" for both quality of services and use of resources. Last year there was one.

* Five NHS organisations were "excellent" for quality of services and "good" for use of resources. Last year there were two.

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