The Care Quality Commission has published its in-depth analysis of the performance of England's 391 NHS trusts across a range of categories over the past year.
NHS RATINGS 2008
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The watchdog assessed the trusts on a series of criteria, focusing on their quality of service and use of resources.
Each trust was graded either excellent, good, fair or weak.
The services measured included patient access, safety and the way the services are run.
The ratings reflect how well the organisation met basic standards of care and how they performed against existing and new national targets.
QUALITY OF SERVICES
The NHS is being praised for improving the services it provides.
The number of excellent performers has risen more than six-fold in the last two years. Meanwhile, just 5% are classed as weak.
The poorest performers will now be subject to monitoring by the Care Quality Commission.
USE OF RESOURCES
Basically, this is a measure of how well trusts are managing their finances.
Again the figures show an improvement in recent years as the health service has turned its deficit into a healthy surplus.
TRUST TYPE BREAKDOWN ON QUALITY OF SERVICES
Performance is generally up for each of the four types of trusts. However, primary care trusts, which oversee community services such as GPs, are still struggling to achieve excellent ratings.
This is probably because as largely management organisations they have more targets to hit.
TRUST TYPE BREAKDOWN ON USE OF RESOURCES
Hospitals, in particular, have upped their game on financial management in recent years. Two thirds are now excellent or good.
But the watchdog has flagged up the lack of rigour seen among ambulance trusts. These have recently been merged, which could partly explain the lack of any excellent performers. NHS chiefs will be expecting this to improve in future years.