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

BYE-BYE BEVAN

A. Pollock and F. Campbell

Guardian, Apr. 26th 2001, p.20

Argues that the Health and Social Care Bill will, if passed, open the way for large corporations to sell health care to the NHS for a profit and for the NHS to start charging for services.

CELTIC CATCH-UP

S. Ward

Public Finance, May 4th-10th, 2001, p.24-25

Devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are doing their best to attract as much private finance into their health services as possible.

EXORCISING BEVAN'S GHOST

V. Bogdanor

Financial Times, Apr. 27th 2001, p.25

Argues that the Labour Party should drop the ideal of providing a health service free for all at the point of use.

FRAUDSTERS ON THE RUN

J. Gee

Public Finance, Apr. 6th-12th 2001, p.22-23

Reports progress being made by the Counter Fraud Service in detecting and preventing fraud in the NHS.

HANDLING CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS IN ENGLAND

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2001 (House of Commons papers. Session 2000/01; HC 403)

Report found that 23,000 claims totalling £2.6bn were outstanding against the NHS in March 2000. A further £1.3bn in settlements was expected from incidents where claims had not yet been received. The rate of new claims rose by 72% between 1990 and 1998 and the NHS received 10,000 new claims in 1999/2000. £386m was paid out in claims settled in 1999/2000, nearly four times the amount the previous year. In two-thirds of cases relating to claims of less than £50,000 the costs of reaching the settlement were greater than the damages awarded. Report calls on the government to overhaul the system for handling claims, and recommends a new arbitration panel to try to avoid lengthy and expensive court cases.

NHS SPENDS £1BN A YEAR ON TEMPS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, May 15th 2001, p.8

The NHS is spending £1bn a year on temporary, agency and locum staff, amid chronic shortages of trained professionals in virtually all healthcare occupations.

PERFORMANCE-RELATED PAY IN HEALTH CARE

J. Arrowsmith et al

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol.6, 2001, p.114-119

Article reviews published accounts of the extent of use of performance related pay (PRP) in the NHS and its impact, plus two case studies. PRP has been introduced for a variety of reasons:

  • an incentive to motivate staff;
  • to enhance staff recruitment and retention;
  • to signal a change in organisational culture;
  • to control staff costs;
  • to reduce the power of trade unions;
  • to reinforce staff development policies.
Very few NHS provider organisations have implemented PRP. Despite this senior managers see real merit in it in improving staff performance and delivering a clear message about the importance of organisational performance. Employees are much more sceptical, seeing PRP as having no effect or being detrimental.