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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2001): National Health Service - Funding

£3bn HOSPITAL PROJECTS WILL ADD 8,000 BEDS

N Hawkes

Times, Feb 16th 2001, p.8

The government has approved 29 hospital building projects which will provide nearly 3,000 new general and acute beds at a cost of £3.1bn. The Health Secretary has also issued guidance instructing NHS regions to increase intermediate care beds by 5,000 by 2003-04. The NHS will set up centres dedicated to elective surgery in 16 of the 29 schemes in which patients will be able to book admissions at their own convenience.

(See also Guardian, Feb 16th 2001, p.1; Independent, Feb 16th 2001, p.11; Financial Times, Feb 16th 2001, p.5).

CHCíS SUCCESSOR BODIES "SET TO COST FIVE TIMES AS MUCH TO RUN"

T Shifrin

Health Service Journal, vol. 111, Jan 25th 2001, p.4.

The Association of Community Health Councils claims that patientsí fora, patient advocacy and liaison services, local authority scrutiny, independent local advisory fora and specialist advocacy services could cost as much as £114m a year by 2004-05, compared with a current annual cost of £23m for CHCs.

COST ANALYSIS OF A HOSPITAL-AT-HOME INITIATIVE USING DISCRETE EVENT SIMULATION

H Campbell, J Karnon and R Dowie.

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol.6 2001, p.14-22.

Evaluation demonstrated that the rapid response service, with the staff and patient eligibility criteria of mid-1998, generated cost savings when compared with conventional inpatient care.

HEALTH CARE FUNDING AND REVIEW

BMA Health Policy and Economic Research Unit.

London: British Medical Association, 2001.

Report analyses various options for funding the NHS including hypothecated taxes, charging for services and expansion of the private sector. Argues that however much state funding is pumped into the NHS, demand for treatment will always eventually outstrip what the service can afford to provide. Therefore rationing of treatment is inevitable. Recommends that the NHS should be funded by general taxation and be free at the point of use, but would exclude certain treatments. The public would need to be fully informed of, and consulted about, such rationing decisions.

ON SHORT RATIONS

J Davies

Health Service Journal, vol. 111, Feb 1st 2001, p.16.

Health Authorities are required to set aside money to fund treatments recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. This is an almost impossible task, as it is very difficult to predict what NICE is going to recommend.