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Revealed: the best NHS hospitals according to the public’s priorities

The best NHS hospitals according to the public’s priorities – MHP Health Mandate has published the first ever overall assessment of NHS hospital quality in England, based on what matters most to people.

The Quality Index has been published as part of Quality at a glance: Using aggregate measures to assess the quality of NHS hospitals and is MHP Health Mandate’s contribution to the ongoing debate about how best to measure quality in the NHS.

The 10 highest performing trusts on the Index are:

1.       West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

2.       The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

3.       Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

4.       Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

5.       Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

6.       Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

7.       Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

8.       Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

9.       The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10.   South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The 10 lowest performing trusts on the Index are:

137.    Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust

138.    Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

139.    Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

140.    Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

141.    St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

142.    Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

143.    Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

144.    Barts Health NHS Trust

145.    North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

146.    Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Key findings from ‘Quality at a glance’ include:

• Many of the lowest performing trusts on the Quality Index are subject to regulatory intervention. For example Barking, Havering and Redbridge and Croydon have been found to be missing key standards

• Foundation Trust status is a good indicator of high performance on the Quality Index. Only seven out of 37 trusts (19%) in the top quarter do not have Foundation Trust status. Conversely, 24 out of the 37 trusts (65%) in the bottom quarter do not have Foundation Trust status

• Patient experience and waiting times matter most to the public. In a poll of the British public conducted by ComRes, nearly one quarter (23%) of respondents said that the factor they considered to be most important when deciding which hospital to have an operation in was the number of patients who said that they had a good experience of care at the hospital. One fifth of respondents (20%) placed greatest importance on how long they would have to wait for an operation

• Condition-specific ratings (eg about cancer or maternity services) will be more useful to patients in making informed decisions about their care than general ratings. An overall rating is not a good substitute for a condition-specific assessment of quality

Quality at a glance makes fourteen recommendations on how aggregate quality ratings should be developed, presented, communicated and used to improve the quality of care delivered by hospitals in the NHS.

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