Published: 28/07/2005, Volume II5, No. 5966 Page 9

'A few more quitters' and Barnet primary care trust could have soared from zero to two stars, its chief executive Charles Hollwey reckons.

The PCT was 'pleased but not satisfied' to rise from zero to one star.

And Mr Hollwey said that if the PCT had done better on smoking cessation - one of the contributors to the balanced scorecard indicator - it could have got a second star.

He told HSJ: 'Our figures suggest a few more quitters and we would have got two stars, ' he said.

Mr Hollwey described the PCT as 'more of a two-star organisation, not a one-star one, ' he added.

'We were expecting to move up, not to the top band, but somewhere near.' Improvements, Mr Hollwey said, came from close work with other organisations in the healthcare community.

'We worked very hard to make sure we worked with acute trusts to improve accident and emergency access, outpatient issues and primary care access figures.' Mr Hollwey said the introduction next year of annual health check ratings would not change his PCT's approach.

'We have to use whatever system we are given, ' he commented. 'But the important thing is we continue to provide good patient care.'