NORTHERN Devon Healthcare is among the top 10 of most improved NHS Trusts in the country, according to figures released on Monday. The Trust s self-assessment has been sent to the Healthcare Commission and will form the basis for its rating in the annua

NORTHERN Devon Healthcare is among the top 10 of "most improved" NHS Trusts in the country, according to figures released on Monday.The Trust's self-assessment has been sent to the Healthcare Commission and will form the basis for its rating in the annual nationwide Health Check results to be released in October.Northern's Devon's report to the Commission shows it has met all requirements in 37 out of 43 assessed categories in 2007/08 and the remaining six were fully met by March this year.The Commission focuses on seven areas: Safety, care environment and amenities, clinical and cost effectiveness, governance, patient focus, accessible and responsive care and public health.The previous check of 2006/07 showed the Trust had complied with just 24 out of the 43 and had been given a rating of "weak," compounding its previous total of 22 out of 43.Now, however, Trust chief executive Jac Kelly is extremely proud of the progress made in the past year."We now have the systems in place to demonstrate the care we provide to patients is excellent and meets their expectations," she said."Rising above the 'weak/weak' rating of last year also means we won't be subject to the Department of Health's planned performance-management regime for failing trusts."As of today, we believe we're meeting all the national standards, which is a tribute to the efforts of staff across the trust. I'd like to thank everyone who has played their part."We're back in the black after our financial troubles, we're about to embark on a £23.5m refurbishment of North Devon District Hospital, and we'll soon be launching our vision for the future."The Healthcare Commission will now verify the Trust's submission before publishing its Annual Health Check in October. Northern Devon's assessment can be viewed at: www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/about/annual_health_check.shtml