London 'Lags Behind In NHS Push'

Medical Negligence

17.10.2008

Health services in London are not improving as well as the rest of England, a new report shows.

Watchdog the Healthcare Commission has rated every NHS trust in England on quality of services and value for money.

Overall London was praised for showing improvements, but the Commission said they were not as significant as in other regions.

Two London NHS Trusts were given the lowest possible rating of "weak", prompting NHS London to say it is "not acceptable.

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Stanmore and the Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust, both in north London, were rated "weak" in both quality of services and use of resources.

The report rated 48% of the 73 trusts in the capital as good or excellent, which is 7% less than last year.

The Commission said this third year of the annual health check is the first time it had seen a gap between the performance of London's trusts and the rest of England.

In the first two years, a higher proportion of London trusts scored "excellent" and "good" for quality of services, it said.

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Auriana Griffiths from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "The apparent inconsistencies in the standard of healthcare received by patients in England depending on the area in which they live is a concern. Although it is encouraging to see that improvements are being made it would appear from this report that more needs to be done, especially in the London region.

"I act for many clients who have suffered injury as a result of sub-standard healthcare and it is unacceptable to have "weak" services. People want to know that the quality of care they receive is good. I sincerely hope that the Trusts named will take immediate steps to improve services to patients."