THE RISK rating of the Trust which runs the county’s hospitals has been increased.
The Care Quality Commission’s latest intelligent monitoring report placed Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in band four up from band six.
Ratings are based on statistical analysis of more than 150 indicators and then used to assess risk level with band one being the highest. The reports will help inform at what point a full inspection of a Trust will take place, with all Trusts having to be inspected by 2015.
The CQC decision to downgrade the Trust is based on rising death rates and the stroke service which have both been flagged as elevated risks. However the Trust is querying the warning over the stroke service as the issue appears to be related to stroke rehabiliation beds which the Trust does not control. Since centralisation of the service 12 months ago all stroke performance targets have been exceeded.
As the Standard reported last month the Trust is currently reviewing all deaths in the county’s hospitals to understand why the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio is increasing.
Chris Tidman, deputy chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The IMR itself is still evolving – for example, two new indicators have been included in this quarter’s report – so comparison between this and previous reports isn’t straightforward.
“The IMR is one element in a whole host of data that helps us to monitor our services and identify areas where we may need to have a greater focus.
“The Trust continues to comply with all CQC regulations and, in common with all NHS Trusts, will be inspected before the end of 2015 under the new CQC Hospital Inspection Programme.”