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Bradford hospitals 'among worst in UK' says new report
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked among the worst in the country in the first NHS league tables for hospitals, published yesterday.
But Airedale NHS Foundation Trust featured in the top 25 per cent and was ranked 24th in the list of 147 trusts compiled after a study by MHP Health Mandate, which looked at the issues deemed most important to patients – including a good hospital experience, operation waiting times and infection rates.
The Quality At A Glance report, by the specialist health policy and communications consultancy, gives each trust a quality score based on each issue and comes as a Government-commissioned review on the use of Ofsted-style aggregate quality ratings for NHS providers is due at the end of this month.
The Bradford Trust, which runs Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, was placed at 111 in the list, in the bottom 25 per cent, and given a score of 4.38.
It scored in the lowest quarter for the number of patients who said they got better after their operations, at 68 per cent, and the number of operations cancelled at the last minute, at 0.95 per cent.
However, it was praised for the fact that no patients had to share a sleeping area or bathroom with someone of the opposite sex and that only 18.9 per cent had to wait longer than 18 weeks for admitted treatment between June and November 2012.
The report also revealed that 3.55 out of five members of staff said they would recommend the hospital to their friends and family, according to data from a Care Quality Commission staff survey.
The trust disputed a figure for the number of patient complaints, which will have had an impact on its overall score.
A spokesman said: “We acknowledge there are some areas in this report where we have done well and other sections where we don’t score as highly as we would like.
“It is encouraging that a high proportion of staff would recommend our hospitals to their friends and family. We continuously use the responses from such surveys, combined with patient feedback from our own regular surveys, to make improvements to our service.”
Airedale’s trust, which runs Airedale Hospital, was given an overall score of 6.62 and featured in the top 25 per cent of trusts in the country for categories, including the number of written patient complaints, at 14 per cent, and a zero MRSA rate between April 2011 and March 2012.
It did, however, feature in the bottom 25 per cent of trusts for the number of incidents of harm reported, with 7.94 incidents reported per 100 admissions between October 2011 and March 2012.
Dr Andrew Catto, executive medical director and consultant physician, said: “We work very hard to maintain our low infections rates and recognition of this in the report will be a boost to staff who work diligently day in, day out to achieve this. It is also welcome to see that the majority of our patients are not kept waiting for their operations.
“However, the figure reported for ‘risk of being harmed’ can be misunderstood. Organisations that report more incidents tend to have a stronger reporting and more effective patient safety culture where even incidents which result in no harm to patients are reported – 97.7 per cent of the patient safety incidents reported at Airedale were no or low harm.
“At Airedale, patient safety is one of our top priorities and this report confirms that.”
Mike Birtwistle, managing director of MHP Health Mandate, said: “Quality in health is complex and there is a strong case for bringing information together to enable an at-a-glance assessment of a trust’s performance.
“Every board of every hospital should be looking at this at every meeting. It picks up the specifics that matter most to the public, providing a barometer of how hospitals are performing.
“We have seen what happens when people wait for patients to be harmed before taking action to improve the quality of care. We need to use much more sensitive and relevant measures of quality. The Government needs to provide the resources to encourage this.”