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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2001): National Health Service - Reform - General

BACK DOWN MR BLAIR

J. Edmonds

Financial Times, June 14th 2001, p.19

Warns that Labour's plans to introduce will lead to profit-led decision-making and will be opposed by both staff and the public.

BLAIR ATTACKED OVER PLANS FOR PRIVATE SECTOR'S ROLE IN NHS

B. Groom, N. Timmins and J. Guthrie

Financial Times, June 1st 2001, p.4

Consultants have condemned Labour Party plans for more private sector involvement in the delivery of NHS services while health workers have threatened industrial action. At the same time the private sector is complaining that plans have been watered down to appease the unions.

CHANGING THE CONTRACTUAL STATUS OF CONSULTANTS

BMA Health Policy and Economic Research Unit

London: 2001 (Discussion paper; 7)

Proposes that consultants should resign from the NHS and organise themselves into "chambers" like barristers. These "chambers" would then bid for private on or NHS work.

DEVOLUTION AND HEALTH POLICY IN ENGLAND

W. Ross and J. Tomaney

Regional Studies, vol.35, 2001, p. 265-270

Article looks at the possible implications of English regional government for the provision of healthcare. Elected assemblies may allow more locally tailored policies aimed at reducing health inequalities. They may also increase the democratic accountability of health services and help to "join-up" health and other policy domains. Obstacles to the devolved control over healthcare included the inherently centralised nature of provision in Britain and strong public support for a National Health Service.

EARNING CONFIDENCE: PERSPECTIVES FOR A MODERNISING NHS

A. Brownlea

Journal of Clinical Excellence, vol.3, 2001, p.27-32

Concludes that building public confidence in the health service takes more than clinical excellence. Technical competence is important but what wins confidence are the relational and "moral" characteristics established between users and carers. The moral characteristics include honesty, trust, integrity and mutuality. For clinicians and service providers it is important to be technically competent, but it matters even more to build valued relationships if public confidence is to grow or be retained.

EVALUATING MANDATED QUALITY IMPROVEMENT: RESULTS OF A SURVEY IN THE NHS IN ENGLAND

T. Freeman et al

Journal of Clinical Excellence, vol.3, 2001, p.15-22

Authors assess the progress of quality improvement in the NHS after 10 years of mandated quality improvement activities and several waves of reform. Results of a postal survey of trusts in the West Midlands and the South West show that, in spite of considerable investment, existing systems for quality improvement are highly variable within and between trusts in both their coverage and their perceived effectiveness. UK NHS trusts exhibit wide variations in the robustness of their quality improvement activities, yet share a common policy context. This suggests that direct mandating of quality improvement processes does not result in uniform development.

FOREIGN RECRUITS OUTNUMBER NEW BRITISH NURSES

D. Charter

Times, May 22nd 2001, p.4

The Royal College of Nursing has deplored the practice of stripping developing countries of trained nurses to solve the recruitment crisis in the NHS.

(See also Guardian, May 22nd, 2001, p.4; Independent, May 22nd 2001, p.1; Daily Telegraph, May 22nd 2001, p.4)

GAINING PATIENT CONSENT TO DISCLOSURE

Cambridge Health Informatics Ltd

NHS Executive, 2001

It would cost the NHS £400m to gain express consent from all patients to all uses of their medical data. This is not an option so report suggests a "silver solution" costing £25m. This comprises a package of measures including an information campaign. It would provide a best return by reducing the risk of legal challenge for a reasonable cost.