THE boss of the county’s hospital trust has said they are “making good progress” in a number of areas, despite a new report saying health care in the country is in need of improvement.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, was responding to the Care Quality Commission’s latest ‘State of Health Care’ report – which builds a national picture of the challenges facing healthcare providers in Britain. The report found that too many people find it hard to access medical care such as appointments.

It said the lack of access was “especially worrying” when it affects more vulnerable elements of society such as children, disabled people and young people with mental health problems. The report also found that, nationally, July 2019 saw the highest proportion of emergency patients spending more than four hours in A&E than any previous July for at least the last five years.

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Mr Hopkins said: “Improving the quality and safety of care for our patients is our number one priority and the recent CQC report demonstrates we are making good progress in a wide range of areas.

“This has been against a backdrop of growing numbers of patients using our services, in some cases outstripping our capacity to meet the national waiting time expectations, particularly over recent months.

“We know that improving how our emergency patients are cared for across the Worcestershire health and care services, will help to reduce the pressure on our Emergency Departments, reduce waiting times and improve timely ambulance handovers.

“The active collaboration and integration of the 111 service, local GPs, community staff, social care, paramedics and our doctors and nurses in our hospitals, will help to reduce demand and ensure that patients can be treated in the right place at the right time, for example, making sure patients in hospital are discharged home or moved to other care settings in a safe and timely way.

“We have a county-wide improvement plan being implemented that will help our clinical services adapt to meet the changing needs of our local population, and we want the people of the county to help shape the future.”

The CQC’s ‘The state of adult care and social care in England 2018/19’ details national findings from more than 30,000 health and social care providers using inspection and ratings data, as well as information from people who use services, their families and carers, to inform its judgement on how effective care is.