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NHS watchdogs praise clinical priority services in Eastern Cheshire

NHS watchdogs praise clinical priority services in Eastern Cheshire
21 July 2017

Cancer care in Eastern Cheshire has been rated outstanding by NHS England.

Cancer services were one of three clinical priority areas looked at as part of the 2016-17 Annual Assessment of how we plan and buy healthcare.

And we were considered good for mental health and dementia services – the other two priority areas assessed.

NHS England found that we had improved or maintained performance against 10 of 11 key measures across the priority areas. The exception was the percentage of people making a full recovery from mild to moderate stress, anxiety or depression following psychological therapies. However, we are on track to achieve national recovery targets following the introduction of a new Talking Therapies service in February.

The assessment of performance against the three priorities was published alongside our Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF) results. For the second year running, we were rated as requiring improvement against the IAF indicators of better health, better care, sustainability and being well led.

The rating reflects concern at our growing financial deficit, for which financial recovery plans have been written. Financial performance aside, we were found to be performing strongly.

Dr Paul Bowen, our clinical chair and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton said: “I’m delighted that our annual assessment against clinical priorities and the IAF have recognised the high standard of the vast majority of our services.

“However, there remain opportunities for service improvement that we will need to grasp while striving to return the CCG to financial balance. We believe we can reduce the deficit by working with partners within the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and by working with our Caring Together partners to introduce joined-up community services that support people to stay well and help people with long-term conditions to live independently at home.”

The annual assessment gives CCGs a headline assessment against indicators in the IAF. In turn, the IAF reflects priorities in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View – a road map for how the NHS needs to change to remain affordable and provide high-quality care.

We were rated in the top quarter nationally on seven of the 14 better health indicators, and sixth in the country for supporting people with long-term conditions, a key measure in the Caring Together transformation programme.

We were rated in the top quarter on 13 of the 31 better care indicators, with only two areas in the bottom quarter. These were A&E performance and delayed transfers of care. Both areas have improved significantly in recent months because of joint working with East Cheshire NHS Trust. We were rated among the best in the country for early cancer diagnosis, mental health out-of-area placements and learning disability health checks.

However, our overall CCG leadership rating remains at amber, reflecting the priority placed on us to improve our financial performance in line with the NHS Five Year Forward View.