Quality is cream of the crop

THE quality of care in Northumberland’s hospitals is among the cream of the crop across the country.

Patients have voted Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust the best in the region and fifth nationally for the support and attention they have received.

The trust, which also provides community and adult social care services, got an approval rating of 93 per cent for the overall experience of care and the quality of doctors and 97 per cent for treating patients with dignity and respect.

Its Chief Executive, Jim Mackey, said: “To fall within the top five nationally in any benchmarking exercise is pretty special, however, I feel particularly proud of the fact that we are the only non-specialist acute organisation in this very elite group.

“We have been doing a lot of work to understand what our patients feel and say about us and how they rate our services and this is paying real dividends in our ability to respond to their needs.

“This result is, of course, entirely due to the outstanding collective efforts of our staff.”

The 2011 National Outpatient Survey, released by the Care Quality Commission, involved 163 trusts with more than 72,000 patients providing feedback on their experience of care.

The Royal College of Nursing’s Deputy President, Cecilia Anim, visited some of the front-line clinical staff in Northumberland to congratulate them.

“The hard work and dedication of Northumbria Healthcare’s nurses have played a crucial role in ensuring that the trust has been ranked fifth overall for quality of care,” she said.