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WARRINGTON is one of the worst

Steve the Original

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by David Skentelbery

WARRINGTON is one of the worst providers of urgent and emergency health care services in the North West.

While 60 per cent of Primary Care Trusts across the region are shown to be among the best, Warrington is one of the four "least well" performers, according to a review by the Healthcare Commission.

The review is the first time the Commission has assessed how the whole urgent care and emergency system works together.

It includes ambulance services, A&E, out-of-hours GP services, NHS Direct, urgent care provided by GPs, and urgent care centres including walk-in centres and minor injuries units.

The Commission has awarded ratings on a five-point scale for these services nationally, set by the boundaries of the primary care trusts (PCTs).

It has then rated them overall as "best", "better", "fair" and "least well" performing.

It looked at three areas: access (including GP out of hours services and 999 response times), effectiveness of services and management.

Of the 24 PCTs in the North West, six were classified as among the "best performers" in the country.

These were Blackburn with Darwen, Central and East Cheshire, Knowsley, Liverpool, Manchester and Trafford.

A further eight were "better" performers.

But four PCTs - Warrington, Bolton, Central Lancashire and Wirral - were

classified as among the "least well" performing of the country.

Director of performance, nursing and quality for NHS North West, Jane Cummings, said: "We are disappointed that four of our trusts have been classified as among the worst performers. The data was collected more than a year ago and since then all four have brought in major changes to address the issues highlighted in the review.

"All four have made big strides since the data was collected last year. We are confident that if the survey were repeated now the results would reflect a much improved performance."

A spokesperson for Warrington PCT said: "We will be reviewing the report's contents in detail over the next few weeks with other key stakeholders in the local health community to identify areas of poor performance and set about rectifying them."

Positive steps taken in Warrington since the review was carried out include:

1. A single point of access service to support clinicians in the community to signpost patients to alternative services to avoid unnecessary A&E attendances and admission to hospital.

2. An increase in the number of ambulances in response to an increase in calls.

3. An education programme to enable more patients to access the right services.

4. A review of unscheduled care to identify the key areas for concern and produce an action plan to address them.

5. A primary care assessment and diagnostic unit associated with A&E is being developed to provide appropriate treatment to patients in the appropriate setting.




Whats your experience?? anyone had anything to say about the service?? good or bad..




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