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NHS performing well, says official report published by DH

Only one out of 21 NHS service areas flagged as in need of improvement

Ingrid Torjesen

Monday, 04 July 2011

The NHS has maintained or improved its quality of services in 20 areas, according to the official report on NHS performance published by the Department of Health.

The Quarter 4 report sets out NHS quality and financial performance between January and March 2011 in 21 areas and highlighted only one area as needing greater attention.

The area in need of improvement is ensuring that under-18 year olds are not admitted to adult psychiatric wards. Several incidents where this has occurred are currently being investigated by the NHS.

The report says that the NHS has improved its quality of service in 14 areas, including continuing to reduce rates of hospital acquired infections, treating patients who have mini-strokes more quickly, improving breast and bowel cancer screening rates, improving access to dentistry for adults and children, reducing breaches of same sex accommodation and reducing under-18 conception rates.

Waiting times have remained broadly stable. In March, Referral to Treatment data showed that the average waiting time for admitted patients was 7.9 weeks, and for non-admitted patients 3.7 weeks.

The report also says that the NHS is reporting a year-end surplus of £1.5 billion for 2010/11.

Deputy chief executive of the NHS David Flory said:  “This report shows that the NHS is continuing to deliver strongly for patients - putting the NHS in a good position for the transitional year ahead. But we know that the NHS faces unprecedented challenges with an ageing population and the rising costs of complex technology and medicines.

“The challenge going forward is to maintain high quality care, while ensuring we maintain strong financial control. “

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