X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

‘A great experience during my colposcopy’ – inside the NHS’s new Accountability Hub

24 June 2014

6:23 PM

24 June 2014

6:23 PM

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. Jeremy Hunt has taken up this mantra with the launch of the NHS’s Accountability Hub today. As well as offering information about your nearest GP or hospital, the NHS Choices website is now full of patient safety indicators which, according to the Department of Health, offer an ‘unprecedented amount of patient safety information to allow patients, regulators and staff to see safety performance across a range of indicators.’

All sounds like a good idea, so I had a poke around to see how much information was available on two hospitals I’ve had the pleasure of visiting — one in London, one in Gateshead. Out of the seven indicators, this is what NHS Choices had to say:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 15.57.41Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 16.47.08

[Alt-Text]


As you can see, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is slightly understaffed, while Chelsea and Westminster is ‘among the worst’ for open and honest reporting and is rated poor for patient safety notices. Digging into the details for this hospital, I wasn’t able to find any more information — aside from ‘Helen’ five star review, commenting on her ‘great experience during my colposcopy and biopsy’. Looking through to the Care Quality Commission’s report on Chelsea and Westminster, I still couldn’t find any reference to these negative ratings on transparency. The CQC’s website turns off any normal person; it’s a myriad of PDFs and jargon.

To match its higher rating, the Queen Elizabeth has much more positive reviews. As ‘Gill’ claims ‘If your [sic] suffering from any form of arthritis, then this is the consultant to choose’. Overall, the hospital receives four stars from family and friends, as well as a clean bit of health from the CQC.

Although the Department of Health is keen to extoll the seven indicators of the new transparency drive — CQC standards, patient safety reporting, safe staffing, infection control and cleanliness, patients assessed for risk of blood clots, responding to patient safety alerts and recommendations by staff to their relatives and friends — the website still offers little concrete information to the average punter.

The problem is that the data behind the Accountability Hub. It appears to rely on recommendations of patients — which offer trends but will often differ — and the infrequent reports from the Care Quality Commission; the same quango criticised for its role in failing to spot the Mid Staffs scandal. The NHS’s Accountability Hub is better than nothing, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. More sunlight please, Mr Hunt.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close