Hospital performanceHospitals rated for their care of the over-50s

21 March 2006

A snapshot survey of 265 British hospitals has revealed which are the best at providing care for the over-50s.

Every NHS hospital in England, Scotland and Wales was rated for their performance by healthcare analysis group, Dr Foster.

Researchers awarded credits to each hospital-based on various criteria including the quality of care, the numbers of doctors and nurses, patient experience, infection control and waiting lists.

The Royal Marsden Hospital in south-west London came out top in the study - conducted for Saga Health Care - followed by the Harrogate District Hospital in North Yorkshire, which is one of the first NHS foundation trusts.

Next was Nottingham City Hospital, followed by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. In England, 26 hospitals were judged as giving 'excellent' service alongside Withybush General Hospital in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in Scotland.

Poor performers

The poorest- performing hospitals include Scarborough General Hospital, The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex and Whipps Cross University Hospital in London.

The study also shows that waiting list times and mortality ratios are down, and that many more hospitals are now meeting government targets.

Cally Palmer, Chief Executive of the Royal Marsden, said: 'We really are absolutely delighted and thrilled to have won. All our staff consider it a privilege to provide a service for people at a difficult and vulnerable time in their lives.

'We know that a patient's well-being is as much about personal care and support and quality of environment as it is about medical treatment.

'Many of our patients continue to return to us for checks, investigation or treatment and this means we can build a continuing relationship with them and their families.

Hospital guide

'We try very hard to meet everyone's individual needs and the support and feedback from patients helps us to provide the very highest quality of care.'

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga, said: 'This survey provides a snapshot of how the NHS is meeting the needs of today's over- 50s. It is encouraging to see the majority of hospitals performing well, and this is a tribute to the dedication of NHS staff.

'If people are to make use of the new freedoms to choose the hospital they are treated at, there will be a growing demand for a guide that helps people navigate through NHS performance statistics. I hope that by commissioning this independent review we will help people, along with their GPs, to make informed choices about their healthcare needs, whether that is with the NHS or elsewhere.'

You can see how your local hospital scored in the survey by going to the Saga website.