Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Another hospital rating system

We have become familiar with Care Quality Commissioner’s inspections and ratings. In the last round Royal Surrey was ‘Good’, Frimley ‘Excellent’ and St Peters ‘Requiring improvement’.

Now the NHSI (NHSImprovement) has introduced ‘The Single Oversight Framework’ designed to help NHS providers attain, and maintain, Care Quality Commission ratings of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

The Framework aims to help NHSI identify NHS providers' potential support needs across five themes:
·         quality of care
·         finance and use of resources
·         operational performance
·         strategic change
·         leadership and improvement capability

The Royal Surrey has received a rating of ‘3’, Ashford and St Peters ‘2’ and Frimley ‘1’.

The meaning of the ratings are roughly:

1.    No potential support needs identified.
2.    Targeted support needed: there are concerns in one or more themes.
3.    Mandated support needed for significant concerns: there is actual or suspected breach of licence, and a Regional Support Group has agreed to seek formal undertakings from the provider or the Provider Regulation Committee has agreed to impose regulatory requirements.
4.    Providers in special measures.

Whilst not good, this is not surprising given the Royal Surrey’s very poor financial position and that it is seriously missing some key targets such as cancer waits. Whereas every effort is being focussed on improving it is going to take time to get back to past performance. At least the hospital has decided not to merge with Ashford and St Peters allowing senior staff to concentrate on getting the hospital back onto an even keel.

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