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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2002): National Health Service - Funding

ATTACK ON SLOW PACE OF NHS - PRIVATE DEALS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Sept. 18th 2002, p. 4

British and overseas providers of private healthcare are frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations to involve them in boosting NHS capacity.

HARD TO SWALLOW

C. Deeming

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Aug. 22nd 2002, p. 28-29

Hospital meals cost the NHS, on average, £2.50 per patient per day. Costs are higher in hospitals which prepare food on site, specialist trusts, and those in London. The Wanless report has proposed that expenditure should rise to £4.80 per day, at today's prices, by 2022. More effort needs to go into cutting food wastage which currently costs hospitals in England more than £18m a year.

HOLIDAY PACKAGE

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Sept. 19th 2002, p. 14-15

The NHS incurs huge costs in hiring agency staff to cover absences. Its main way of tackling this massive bill is through NHS Professionals, effectively an in-house agency which also runs trusts' "banks" of staff willing to work extra shifts.

THE RECOVERY OF NHS COSTS IN CASES INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURY COMPENSATION: A CONSULTATION

Department of Health

London: 2000

Proposes that people or employers who cause accident or injury to others should have to cover the costs of NHS treatment for the victims. The scheme could raise an extra £120m a year for NHS hospitals.

TRICK OR TREAT?

P. Stephenson

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Sept. 12th 2002, p. 10-12

Extra funding has been directed to NHS services related to waiting list reduction, but other areas are being squeezed. Financial pressures are arising from increased prescribing costs, and the need to cover gaps by extensive use of expensive agency nursing staff and locum doctors.

VALUE-ADDED FACTS

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Sept. 12th 2002, p. 12-13

From 2002, NHS bodies have been obliged to fund treatments recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE's judgements have been overwhelmingly in favour of the use of expensive new drugs and technologies. This is putting up prescribing costs and could lead to other services being cut.

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