THE John Radcliffe Hospital has been rated one of the worst hospitals in England for cleanliness and that has to be a cause for concern.

However, again, we have the Oxford University Hospitals Trust disputing the findings of a Government body.

The Government has scored hospitals on seven standards – including clostridium difficile and MRSA cases – under new safety ratings and come up with what on the face of it is a damning finding.

Yet trust chief executive Sir Jonathan Michael has released figures showing a decline in the cases of those infections and says the picture painted is not one of the hospital that he recognises.

We’ve been here before though, where the Government says one thing and the OUHT another.

The real problem is the public are left in the middle, unable to properly determine if this is another case of unreasonable central Government targets and standards or an overly-sensitive hospital trust that refuses to acknowledge when it makes mistakes.

The Government and the trusts have to get together and come to some agreed system of scrutiny across all fields so that the public and patients can look at these reports and be certain of their accuracy, otherwise the whole system is rendered pointless.

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