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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Cornish hospital rated as worst
Treliske Hospital
Treliske Hospital is one of the worst performers in the country.
One South West hospital has improved significantly according to the latest report from the Health Commission.

The Royal Devon and Exeter hospital has achieved excellent ratings in key sectors.

But the report also highlights one of the worst performing trusts with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust coming bottom of nearly 400 trusts in England.

Although Devon has the best performer in the region it also has some health trusts which have been rated as weak.

The report by the Healthcare Commission paints a mixed picture of NHS services across the region.

The annual health check report is billed by the Government as the toughest ever assessment of the NHS and looks at things like care standards, waiting times and how well money is managed.

Rated as weak

The Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske failed to meet 31 out of 44 government set standards, giving it the poorest record in the country.

It was rated as weak in all areas.

The Commission said its main area of concern is the trust's failure to meet standards relating to the safety of patients.

The Healthcare Commission is now sending in a team to recommend and oversee improvements.

The Royal Devon and Exeter trust has improved its services for patients in comparison to last year from a rating of fair to good. Areas which still need improving include MRSA targets and admission to Stroke Units.

Excellent rating

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has seen some improvement in comparison with last year.

The trust has managed to get better at handling its resources as well as improving things for patients.

South Devon Healthcare Trust, which runs Torbay hospital got an excellent rating for its use of resources but fell short on quality of services.

Tony Parr, the chief executive said it was only rated as fair, blaming mistakes in the way it collected data on the ethnicity of patients.

North Devon District Hospital has again been rated as weak. But managers say staff are doing a great job in improving performance, claiming it takes longer to embed systems to demonstrate that standards are high.

The Devon Primary Care Trust which looks after things like GP practices was deemed to be weak and blamed the merger of primary care services in the county last year.

Chief Executive Kevin Snee said its down to the reorganisation of primary care services last year and insists patient care did not suffer.

Plymouth and Torbay PCTs come out slightly better with fair ratings overall.

Mental health services however have shown a marked improvement since last year. They are rated as excellent in comparison with fair last year.

Meanwhile, South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust was rated as fair.

But the figures published for the region show that the South West still has the highest proportion of weak trusts in England.



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