Ruffley backs Healthcare Commission that West Suffolk Hospital services are 'Excellent'

Monday, 22 October, 2007

David Ruffley MP has today stated that the Healthcare Commission's annual survey of health trusts highlights the hard work and dedication of Suffolk's healthcare professionals while underlining the stark reality of the Governments neglect of shire counties.

All NHS trusts receive a rating made up of two sections- one focusing on quality of services and another for management of resources. Both sections are scored on a four-point scale ranging from 'weak' to 'excellent'.

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust was rated 'weak' for its management of resources and 'excellent' for its quality of services. Suffolk PCT was rated 'weak' for its management of resources and 'fair' for its quality of services. Suffolk Mental Health Partnership was rated 'good' for its quality of services and 'fair' for its management of resources.

David said:

'The Healthcare Commissions annual survey highlights precisely what I have been saying for years- Suffolk's nurses, doctors and support staff are among the finest in the country.

'West Suffolk Hospital is now among the top 19 percent of trusts for its quality of service and its rating has jumped from 'fair' to 'excellent' in a single year.

'I am also delighted to report that Suffolk Mental Health Partnership has improved its quality of service from 'fair' to 'good'. Too often we shy away from talking about mental health issues but Suffolk Mental Health Partnership are at the forefront of helping the most vulnerable members of our community and they should be applauded for this improvement in service.

'However, the stark reality of this Government's neglect of the NHS in shire counties such as Suffolk can be seen in the fact that all of the health trusts in Suffolk were rated 'fair' or 'weak' for their management of resources.

'The historic debts that have accumulated in our county mean that most of our health trusts were automatically rated as 'weak' for their management of resources.

'In the last financial year the Government's spending on healthcare per head of the population in Suffolk stood at only 82 percent of the national average- it is little wonder that our health trusts are experiencing financial problems in the face of such flagrant urban bias.

'Yet this underinvestment, coupled with the fact that healthcare professionals are tied up in red tape rather than being able to focus on frontline duties, makes the achievement of our hard working nurses and doctors at the West Suffolk Hospital all the more remarkable.'