A positive Annual Review for NHS Western Isles

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The NHS Western Isles Annual Review for 2013/14 has taken place and focused on patient experience, key achievements and challenges, and progress against national targets.

The review was opened by Board Chair, Neil Galbraith, who described in detail some of the outcomes of the latest Patient Experience Survey, in which NHS Western Isles achieved some exceptionally positive results. In particular, he highlighted that 96 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their overall care and treatment. Mr Galbraith commended the dedication and commitment of local NHS staff, which had clearly resulted in high levels of patient satisfaction.

“Our results were exceptionally good, which does mean that the patients themselves recognise that it’s a quality health service that’s being delivered here in the Western Isles,” he added.

Mr Galbraith also referred to a meeting he had attended with patient representatives on August 12, in which the specific areas of neurology, cardiac services and smoking cessation were discussed.

Mr Galbraith pointed out that there had been ‘considerable welcome’ expressed at the meeting in terms of the appointments of the specialist nurses for Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease, with the impact of the appointments described as having a ‘profound impact’ on local patients’ lives.

Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, described how the Board had performed against a number of national targets, ranging from the early detection of cancer to the prevention and control of infection.

Mr Jamieson explained that the driver behind each target, and every development that NHS Western Isles introduces, centres on improving quality. He explained the steps that NHS Western Isles is taking to improve the health of the population; right through from illness prevention and health promotion, to early years measures (such as implementing children’s dental and healthy weight programmes), to screening programmes and ensuring the best possible treatment and care when people get ill (e.g. ensuring 100 per cent of patients with a diagnosis of a stroke are admitted to a stroke unit on the day of admission).

He stated: “We have to keep working hard to stop people becoming ill in the first place, focusing continuously on illness prevention and health promotion. Another key role for us is ensuring children get the best start in life, and local initiatives like the free healthy start vitamins and the Childsmile dental campaign are to be commended for the positive impact they have.”

Mr Jamieson also made reference to Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) unannounced inspections of hospitals, and in particular discussed the October 2013 inspection of Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway. He highlighted to those present at today’s Annual Review that the inspection had resulted in one requirement and three recommendations, all of which have been addressed.

“It’s testament to our staff that HEI can attend our hospitals unannounced and we still achieve positive reports,” he said.

“This is reassuring for me as Chief Executive, reassuring for the Board, and also most importantly, reassuring for patients and the public. Congratulations to our staff for all the hard work they have done, and continue to do.”

One of the attendees at this year’s review reiterated Mr Jamieson’s sentiments, and applauded NHS Western Isles for the achievements made over the past year.

Targets – at a glance 2013/14

The number of children aged between seven and 13 completing ‘child healthy weight interventions’ to March 2014 is 202, well ahead of the target of 75 interventions.

The number of ‘alcohol brief interventions’ delivered in the period to March 2014 was 318, below the annual target of 338.

The proportion of cancer patients treated within 31 days from decision to treat was 100% at March 2014, against the target of 95%.

The number of people recorded as being registered with their GP with a dementia diagnosis was 313 at March 2014, exceeding the target of 289.

At March 2014, 98.4% of patients attending the Emergency Department were seen within four hours, against the current target of 95%.

100% of patients with a diagnosis of stroke were admitted to the stroke unit on the day of admission or the day following admission at March 2014, against the standard of 90%.

The staff sickness absence rate was 5.4% at March 2014, against the target of 4%.

In 2013/14, the Board achieved a breakeven position for the seventh year in succession.