18 October 2007

The results of the assessments for 2006/07 of the NHS trusts have been published by the Healthcare Commission and the three in Cornwall have mixed and unglowing scores. See here for the full results and here for a previous post.

* The primary care trust for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly scores fair in both Quality of services and Use of resources

* The Royal Cornwall Hospitals trust unhappily scores weak for Quality of services and weak for use of resources

* The mental health trust Cornwall Partnership scores weak for Quality of services and fair for Use of Resources.

Overall these are scarcely impressive and patients in Cornwall served by these trusts should look for better next year. The Health Commission has described the RCH trust 2006/07 results as “the poorest record of any of the country’s 394 trusts.”

There is a discussion of what the standards mean here.

However, some good news has come out today. The Healthcare Commission has also announced that it is looking into concerns at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals trust. The trust has reviewed and confirmed its assessment of core values and has met only thirteen out of the forty four for 2006/07. A new chief executive is in place but large debts remain. The commission and RCH trust are working together to pull the hospital service around, the commission examining whether the trust is doing what is necessary to sort out the acknowledged problems.

The NHS in Cornwall is not glowing. It must improve. The primary health trust is newly formed from a previous three and RCH trust has new leadership and now help from the involvement of the Health Commission – and much is rightly expected of them. If next year the scores remain unimpressive, people in Cornwall might begin to ask whether the NHS has a longterm future.

PS 23 October 2007

The Audit Commission has just published its annual review of the financial performance of the NHS for 2006/07. It is more grim news about the RCH trust.

The RCH trust is among twenty seven that have failed every financial test in the review and has reported a deficit of £36.464 million for 2006/07 (Table 3, page 7).

At Appendix 2 of the review are the detailed scores for the three Cornwall trusts (some people in east Cornwall use NHS services provided by trusts in Devon). The primary care trust and Partnership trust score an overall 2 (meet minimum requirements). RCH trust scores an overall 1 (below minimum requirements) and scores 1 for all five aspects of the assessment.

PS 1 November 2007

The RCHT received a loan (public dividend capital) of £56.4 million for 2006/07 from the government. Thirteen NHS trusts received such loans. (Hansard 29 October 2007, column 1039W)