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West Suffolk Hospital’s national success for clinical care and patient safety

9 May 2005

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has attained a rigorous national standard that demonstrates its high level of clinical care and patient safety.

The assessment was undertaken for the NHS Litigation Authority who administer the ‘Clinical National Scheme for Trusts’ (CNST). CNST was established in 1994 to provide a means for NHS Trusts to fund the cost of clinical negligence litigation and support the effective management of claims and risks.

As part of the process Trusts are assessed against agreed standards for clinical care and risk management. The Trust scored 100 per cent against each of the standards. As a result of passing the assessment the Trust will receive a 10 per cent discount off its clinical negligence insurance premium for the next two years. This equates to £79,000 per annum.

Chief Executive Chris Bown said: "We are delighted to have achieved 100 per cent against all the clinical standards and it serves as valuable proof to patients of the high standard of care they can expect at West Suffolk Hospital.

"Very positive feedback was received about the policies and procedures reviewed, both in terms of them being comprehensive and understandable for users.

"Particular reference was made to the policies for managing serious incidents, patient discharge, the use and handling of blood products. Our policy for managing health records is to be considered as an example of good practice for use nationally.

"The Trust’s patient information leaflets were praised, both for the high quality of the standardised format and the easy to read nature of the information they contain."

The Trust was also praised for a newly developed tool, which identifies the diagnostic and therapeutic equipment used in the Trust, the staff who can use the equipment and the training required.

Mr Bown added: "The assessor felt that it was an excellent approach to the difficult issue of managing such equipment and will be considered as an example of good practice nationally."

Note: The NHS Litigation Authority website can be found at:



West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust