Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Case of Sheer Stupidity

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Case of Sheer Stupidity

Article excerpt

If any further demonstration of the sheer bean-counting stupidity which currently prevails within the NHS was required, it is today's annual revision of star ratings for hospitals.

Targets appear to have taken over from clinical excellence as the criteria on which the Government judges how well - or badly - a particular hospital trust is performing.

The Newcastle Hospitals Trust - which includes the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman and General hospitals - is recognised as a UK leader in a range of medical specialities.

Today, it finds itself "losing a star" despite hitting all of its annual targets.

Its "crime" was to miss a couple of intermediate targets.

Thus, it becomes a "two star" trust, rather than the "three star" rating it earned last year.

These bald statistics make no concession to the fact that the trust handled a 7pc increase in admissions - to around 50,000 patients - and excelled in areas like patient and clinical care and accident and emergency admissions. …

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