Progress, but more to do

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PROGRESS has been made in health services in Fife but further improvements can still be made.

That was the view of professor James McGoldrick, NHS Fife chairman, who made the comments following the unveiling of the NHS Fife annual review 2010/11 on Monday.

Nicola Sturgeon, health secretary, took a close look at the health board’s performance over the past year when she visited the new wing at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.

The health board was praised for hitting targets and achieving success in C diff infection rates and drug and alcohol waiting times (assessment to treatment), but certain areas also came under scrutiny - particularly waiting times and smoking cessation targets.

Professor McGoldrick (pictured) said: “The health board has made progress on all fronts but further improvement can be expected.

Challenge

“I am confident the staff of NHS Fife, over 9000 people who provide healthcare to the people of Fife every day in hundreds of ways and hundreds of locations, will rise to the challenge this year and in years to come.”

NHS Fife was commended for exceeding its target in terms of C diff infections but was urged to make improvements in MRSA and associated infections.

In the year ending March 2011, C diff infections per 1000 total occupied bed days dropped to 0.26, bettering the target of 0.68. However, there were 94 cases of staphylocossus aureus (SABs) - including MRSA - which fell short of the 83 target.

NHS Fife also achieved a rate of 90.8 per cent for drugs and alcohol waiting times for the quarter ending December 2010, exceeding the 90 per cent target.

Waiting times

Although the board fell short when it came to drugs and alcohol waiting times as it achieved a rate of 82.3 per cent, from a target of 90 per cent.

NHS Fife was also quizzed on its failure to meet the four-hour A&E waiting target as Fife’s achievement of 93.4 per cent fell short of the 98 per cent standard. But commitment was given by bosses to hitting the target.

Fife also appeared to struggle with smoking cessation as figures showed 4747 people had successfully stopped smoking a month after quitting by the end of March, but that fell short of the 6168 target.

But on a positive note, the annual review showed 93 per cent of patients in 2010-11 were satisfied with the ability to access a GP appointment within 48 hours, exceeding the end target of 90 per cent.