Watchdog reports rising primary care standards

Fewer than half of PCTs are fully compliant with standards they are expected to achieve for services they provide themselves, according to a report published on Thursday by an NHS watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says that 46% of PCTs reported that they were fully compliant on services they provided for 2008/9. However, 52% were fully compliant with required standards for services they commission.

This is the first year in which PCTs have been given separate scores for services they commission and provide, However, the CQC said the figures show a marked improvement in performance among PCTs, with only 23% declaring full compliance with standards in 2007/8. This compares with no change in the level of achievement declared by acute trusts.

CQC Chief Executive Cynthia Bower said trusts admitting to a failure was ‘the first step to getting it sorted’. But she warned trusts that misreported their level of achievement would be punished.

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