Published: 22/07/2004, Volume II4, No. 5915 Page 5

Primary care trusts in north London and Hertfordshire are 'disappointed' that they have lost stars following the discovery of waiting list breaches at the Royal National Orthopaedic Trust.

Trust director of commissioning Stuart Coalwood was suspended after allegations of waiting-list irregularities in June, and the Healthcare Commission said a subsequent investigation had discovered around 300 inpatient and 800 outpatient breaches.

Barnet PCT failed to win a star after the number of its outpatient breaches increased from only five before the RNOH situation was discovered, to 104 afterwards.

In a statement, the PCT said its zero-star rating was 'disappointing news'.

Hertsmere PCT also lost a star.

Chief executive Jacqueline Clark said she was not trying to 'blame' others for the ratings, but said her PCT was not aware of the breaches until after they had occurred.

Healthcare Commission ratings leader Anne MacLaren said: 'It is the job of PCTs to be responsible for the care of their patients'.