September 30, 2008

Health Care is Up There

URGENT and emergency care on Teesside has been rated among the best in the country.

Independent watchdog the Healthcare Commission published a major review of 152 primary care trusts (PCTs) in England, and Teesside came out on top.

Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland were all placed in the best performing category, helping the North-east emerge as the region with the best care.

The review is the first to compare how all NHS services work together.

A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said: "It is nice to have recognition on a national basis but it is not an excuse to be complacent - we know we can get even better in the future."

The health watchdog rated 33% of areas as best performing, 27% as better performing, 22% as fair and 18% as least performing. The bottom 28 trusts must draw up plans for improvement.

A spokesman for Teesside's PCTs said: "These ratings demonstrate that the patients in the area are getting first-class urgent and emergency care and we are delighted that the hard work done by staff in these areas has been recognised."

Simon Pleydell, chief executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS trust said: "At South Tees, the trust's accident and emergency departments have consistently hit - and exceeded - the 98% target of patients being treated, admitted or discharged within four hours of arriving - despite year-on-year increases in patient numbers and that is down to all our staff working incredibly hard at the James Cook and Friarage hospitals."

Alan Foster, chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: "There has been a huge amount of progress made and this is down to staff who work hard, day in day out, to provide a fast and high quality service."

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