Local NHS celebrates turnaround

THE hard work and dedication of NHS staff in Great Yarmouth and Waveney has been heralded after a national assessment showed a big turnaround in performance during the last 12 months.

THE hard work and dedication of NHS staff in Great Yarmouth and Waveney has been heralded after a national assessment showed a big turnaround in performance during the last 12 months.

The Care Quality Commission's annual health check for 2008/09 has rated NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney as “good” for quality of commissioning and “fair” for quality of financial management.

The ratings are a significant improvement on last year's double “weak” score, and place NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney as the most improved PCT in the region.

David Edwards OBE, chairman of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the results of this year's assessment, which are a testament to the hard work and dedication of all of our staff.

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“They show that the huge changes we have made during the past 12 months are having an extremely positive effect on the way we commission our services and manage our finances.

“This is great news for our patients and a enormous achievement for everyone associated with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, which shows we are adding value for local population.”

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In the assessment, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney demonstrated full compliance with all commissioning core standards, including ensuring services are safe and that patients are treated with dignity and respect. The PCT also performed well in areas such as access to primary care services, breast cancer screening and reducing incidents of healthcare associated infections such as Clostridium difficile.

Dr Sushil Jathanna, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney's new chief executive, who takes up post on November 1, said: “This year's ratings are fantastic news and show a tremendous turnaround for the organisation.

“They are a huge credit to all our staff and to the work of the dedicated teams in the hospitals, community, mental health and ambulance services from which we buy our services.

“They are also excellent news for our local population and show we are making good progress towards delivering our goal of having the fastest improving health in England. Patients can be assured that the services we are commissioning on their behalf will deliver real health benefits, as well as having confidence in the care they are receiving when they do become ill.

“However, we will not become complacent, as there will always be more to do and areas where we can improve still further. We will continue to strive to better our performance wherever possible, by working closely with our patients, the public and our partners to deliver continued improvements to the health of local communities across Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”

The CQC rating also showed significant improvement in the PCT's financial management, which improved from a “weak” rating in 2007/08 to “fair” in 2008/09.

Alison Taylor, director of finance at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We are pleased with our rating for the quality of financial management provided by the PCT. It shows we are performing well, have solid financial management systems in place and make sound investments on behalf of our patients.

“As our “good” rating for quality of commissioning shows, there is a very clear relationship between the investments we make and improvements in services for our patients.

“Looking ahead, we know that we still have work to do alongside our partners to continue buying high quality services which deliver excellent value for money. This is a challenge we are already preparing to meet on behalf of the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”

Great Yarmouth and Waveney Community Services, which provides services to patients on behalf of the PCT, recorded an “almost met” rating in this year's assessment.

In addition, Community Services fully met the assessment criteria in four key areas: standards of care, keeping the public healthy, waiting to be seen and good management.

Amanda Cousins, chief operating officer with Great Yarmouth and Waveney Community Services, said: “We are very pleased with our results as they are as expected.

“In order to improve our standards further we have taken forward detailed pieces of work to ensure that we have systems in place to provide an even better quality of patient care.

“With regard to medicines management we are moving forward with the recruitment of our own inhouse pharmacy staff, which is very exciting.

“We are particularly pleased with our performance and work on infection control in 08/09 which has resulted in no cases of MRSA or Clostridium difficile attributed to community services.”

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