STAR RATINGS Director says par tnership-working was secret to leap from zero to two stars

Published: 28/07/2005, Volume II5, No. 5966 Page 8

An 'energy to improve' is reaping dividends across east London - and Tower Hamlets primary care trust has jumped from zero to two stars as a result.

But director of corporate and organisational development Martin Cusack believes there is 'still loads to do'.

'One of the things about the East End is There is a real sense of energy to improve here, ' he said, referring to Thames Gateway investment, the private finance initiative project at Barts and the London trust and the successful Olympic bid.

'The message coming through is We are really starting to get things done here.' Having fallen to zero stars last year by failing on primary care access targets, the PCT was 'galvanised to improve' and set itself the tough target of a two-star leap in one year.

'The big difference this year is our access to GPs in 24 hours and primary care professionals in 48 hours, ' explained Mr Cusack.

'We did very well on NHS dentistry and there were big improvements in flu immunisation and some aspects of our mental health service.

The one target we missed this year was accident and emergency access, which we improved on a lot.'

Key to the Tower Hamlets' success in a notoriously deprived area has been its work with partners in local government and acute and voluntary services 'to deliver services in different ways'.

Its dentistry service reached the London finals of the 2005 Health and Social Care Awards and the flu immunisation service has been recognised nationally as an example of best practice for taking it out to the community - for example, into mosques.

'For all That is happened with this month's bombings, this is a real boost, especially for our staff, ' added Mr Cusack.