St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded two stars for its performance between April 2003 and April this year, in national ratings published this week by the Healthcare Commission.

Last year, the Trust, which runs St George’s Hospital in Tooting, as well as the Bolingbroke Hospital and the Wolfson Centre for Neurorehabilitation, was also awarded two out of a possible three stars for its performance between April 2002 and April 2003.

One of the reasons why the Trust did not achieve the top three star rating this year was partly because of problems with computer systems, which did not alert staff to the fact that 54 patients had waited longer than 21 weeks for an outpatient appointment with a consultant.

Trust Chief Executive Peter Homa said:

“Our staff work incredibly hard, and their hard work is paying dividends. What our star rating does not necessarily show is that we are improving many areas of patient care – often in the face of great challenges.

“That fact that we have managed to maintain our star rating in the face of many additional pressures is a great tribute to the hard work of our staff. Importantly, the things that let us down last year are really nothing to do with the quality of our care or the work of our staff.

“For example, we may not have hit our target in reducing A&E waiting times. But for the past few months our performance in A&E has actually improved, while the number of people coming to A&E at George’s has increased by up to a third on some days.”

“And while some of our systems for monitoring waiting times were out of date, we do now have up to date computer systems for monitoring patient waiting times so we can see exactly what is going on.

“Given the skills, the experience and the dedication we have here at St George’s, I’m confident we can achieve top marks next year.”

Notes to editors

  1. Full details of national NHS star ratings are available (after 00.01 Wednesday 21st July) from the Healthcare Commission website