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Hospital is one of the best in Britain

PUBLISHED: 16:25 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 23 August 2010

DELIGHTED: Chief executive Mark Devlin.

DELIGHTED: Chief executive Mark Devlin.

A FLAGSHIP hospital has been rated as excellent in the biggest assessment of the country s healthcare system ever carried out. Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust received the boost when figures by the Healthcare Commission were published last Thursday.

A FLAGSHIP hospital has been rated as "excellent" in the biggest assessment of the country's healthcare system ever carried out.

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust received the boost when figures by the Healthcare Commission were published last Thursday.

Darent Valley Hospital, when marked on a four-point scale ranging from excellent to weak, received the top accolade in the Quality of Service section.

Chief executive Mark Devlin said: "Year-on-year we have made steady progress towards achieving ever higher standards in both 'Quality of Service' and 'Use of Resources'.

"Darent Valley is now one of the top 30 hospitals in the country and holds first position in Kent, Medway and south east London.

"People choosing to come to Darent Valley Hospital can feel confident that they are receiving excellent services in comfortable, clean and safe surroundings. I am delighted with our progress."

Annual results cover the period April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008 and is the most comprehensive assessment of NHS performance ever conducted.

The Healthcare Commission found the trust provides an excellent quality of service to patients, having made improvements compared to the previous year, when it was rated 'good'. It also improved the management of its finances from 'fair' to 'good'.

Mr Devlin added: "This is an extremely encouraging result and one that could not have been made possible without the considerable efforts made by each and every one of our staff.

"We still have more to do and will be continuing our efforts to build on these improvements still further with the ultimate aim of achieving 'excellent' in both categories.

"This achievement positions Darent Valley as one of the highest performing hospitals in the NHS and keeps us on track with our aim of becoming a Foundation Trust."

The results were published as part of the third annual health check published by the Commission. All 391 NHS trusts in the country were rated.

Sir Ian Kennedy, commission chairman, said: "This is a broad and demanding assessment so we pay tribute to those trusts that have done well. It is a team effort: the cleaner, the porter, the nurse, the doctor and the manager have all played their part."

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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