Don Foster MP*

Star Rating Doesn't Give True Picture

Commenting on the zero rating attributed to the Royal United Hospital (RUH), Bath's MP, Don Foster commented:

"The rating really doesn't give a true picture of the RUH. Over the last year so much improvement has been made, and it's a disgrace that the government's ridiculously rigid rating system doesn't take this into account.

Main Image"The staff at the RUH must not let this blow affect their morale. The vast majority of the community accepts that there have been problems in the past, but are fully behind the front line staff and recognise the excellent job they do, and the significant improvements they have made. These staff should actually be proud of the outstanding results for clinical performance that have been achieved.

"This rating system is a pathetic measure of whether hospitals can hit targets, tick boxes, and fill in spreadsheets. It diverts the attention of doctors and nurses and forces hundreds of managers to spend all their time filling in spreadsheets, not improving patient care.

"Of course patients should have access to proper information about their hospital, but these star ratings, based on bogus targets, will not give patients the information they need. Patients are being misled as all they will learn is which hospitals are better at obeying the commands from Whitehall. What is really worrying is that these targets can harm patient care, not make it better.

"The Government should stop interfering in the NHS. The political targets must be abolished. They are forcing doctors to treat targets not patients"

Don Foster has also today met the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority to discuss the star ratings and the support that needs to be given to both the RUH and the local Primary Care Trust, to help them resolve their current financial difficulties and improve performance.

Following the meeting Don said,

"I am confident that the Strategic Health Authority is moving on the right lines to develop a plan which could ensure that in a years time - with the help of the excellent staff working for both organizations, we never again are rewarded zero star ratings."


This article published: 16/07/2023


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