Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2002): National Health Service - Reform - General

BLAIR SECURES NHS REFORM DEAL

N. Timmins

Financial Times, October 10th 2002, p.1

Plans for a new breed of "foundation" hospital, the subject of a dispute between Gordon Brown and Alan Milburn, are to go ahead following the intervention of Tony Blair. Mr Milburn has won the right for top-performing hospitals to become independent but lost the battle to get the borrowing off the government's balance sheet.

(See also The Guardian, October 10th 2002, p.6; The Independent, October 10th 2002, p.2; The Times, October 10th 2002, p.4)

CONSULTANTS STRIKE BLOW AT NHS REFORMS

D. Charter

The Times, October 29th 2002, p.1

Hospital consultants are expected to reject the new deal that is designed to allow for more evening and weekend operations throwing into turmoil government plans for waiting times to be cut.

DIFFERENCES REMAIN AFTER FOUNDATION HOSPITAL DEAL

N. Timmins

Financial Times, October 10th 2002, p.4

The row within the government over the creation of foundation hospitals came to a head yesterday with a deal that allows all sides to claim victory, but which still leaves key differences unsolved. The battle that has been postponed is over what happens after the end of the current spending round.

A FINE-TUNED BALANCING ACT

S. Boseley and J. Carvel

The Guardian, October 21st 2002, p.8

As part of the an ongoing series testing Labour's public service reforms, this article looks at the progress being made in one outer London borough, Enfield, on meeting healthcare targets.

GERMAN DOCTOR'S WALK OUT AFTER JUST TWO NHS OPERATIONS

C. Gray

The Independent, October 25th 2002, p.9

Surgeons called for an end to the use of temporary overseas staff after a group of German doctors walked out after only two operations at Cannock Community Hospital in Staffordshire.

INAPPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENTS TO NHS WAITING LISTS

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2002 (House of Commons papers, session 2001/02; HC 517)

In at least 10 hospital managers and staff made inappropriate adjustments to their waiting list data and statistics in order to hide the fact that they were missing government targets. In some cases patients waited longer than they would otherwise have done and their condition deteriorated during the longer wait.

INPATIENT AND OUTPATIENT WAITING IN THE NHS

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2002 (House of Commons papers, sessions 2001/02; HC 376)

Report looks at progress in reducing waiting lists and times, ways of improving performance and steps being taken to give patients better information and choice on where to be treated. Performance can be improved by spreading best practice, tackling capacity problems, managing GP referrals and changing consultants' working practices.

IS FOUNDATION STATUS A FREEDOM WORTH HAVING?

S. Brown

Primary Care Report, vol.4, no.17, Oct. 9th 2002, p. 9-11

Foundation hospitals will remain part of the NHS family, and will have to meet national standards and targets, but will not be directly managed by the Department of Health. They will have freedom to set pay rates locally and to borrow money on the financial markets for capital projects.

JUST A ZEALOUS GUY

L. Eaton

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Oct. 10th 2002, p.16

Discusses the Modernisation Agency's approach to leadership development. This involves taking seconded NHS staff on short term contracts to work on specific projects.

LONG WAITS IN CASUALTY STILL WIDESPREAD, SAY DOCTORS

J. Carvel

The Guardian, October 29th 2002, p.8

A survey of consultants claims casualty departments are still failing to meet targets on waiting times despite government claims.

MODERNISING PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

B. Sang

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 8, 2002, p. 380-385

Article discusses the new structures which are being put in place to enhance public and patient involvement in NHS decision making at local level. Central to the reforms are the creation of a National Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health and the implementation of local Patients' Forums. These will facilitate active public participation in planning and development of services and monitoring as well as scrutiny.

OLD HABITS DIE HARD

T. Harvey

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 8, 2002, p. 390-391

Discusses opposition among doctors to the extension of nurse prescribing in the NHS. The root of the problem lies in doctors' fears about the erosion of their professional role.

ON AUTO PILOT

K. Farrar

Health Service Journal, vol.112, Oct. 10th 2002, p. 26-27

An automated dispensing system introduced in an acute trust has halved errors and released more than 30% of technicians' time for other work. Reducing medication errors can also reduce pressure on hospital beds. Automation also has considerable advantages in the light of the continuing shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

PATIENT CARE "WORSE IN TICK-BOX NHS"

C. Hall

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 17th 2002, p. 1 & 4

Dr Ian Bogle, the chairman of the British Medical Association has attacked the government for limiting the clinical freedom of doctors to such an extent that they can no longer give patients the care they need.

PATIENT WILL GET RIGHT TO CHOOSE HOSPITAL, PLEDGES MILBURN

P. Waugh and N. Morris

Independent, Oct. 3rd 2002, p.6

Reports that cataract patients in London who have been waiting at least six months for an operation will be able to choose to have treatment elsewhere in the country. In spring 2003 the scheme will be extended to Londoners waiting for orthopaedic operations, ear, nose and throat treatment and other specialities.

(See also Guardian, Oct. 3rd 2002, p.8)

PATIENTS' VIRTUE

E. Scarborough

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Oct. 3rd 2002, p. 24-25

Aintree Hospitals Trust succeeded in reducing waiting times for outpatient appointments by reviewing its lists and setting up a call centre to manage them. Patients are now given a choice of outpatient appointments over a four-week period. If they refuse all of these they are discharged back to their GP. This has led to non-attendance being reduced from 16 to 5 per cent.

PERSONAL AND PRIVATE

F. Porritt

Health Which? October 2002, p.16-19

Article discusses the government's proposal to make everybody's health records available electronically to doctors, nurses, pharmacists and ambulance workers county wide.

SHAKY FOUNDATIONS

S. Ward

Public Finance, Sept. 20th -26th 2002, p. 18-20

The foundation trusts initiative will free the best hospitals in England from central control. Article discusses political opposition to the plan from within the government and describes the cautious response of the NHS.

TARGET FOR NHS DOCTORS 'WILL FALL SHORT BY 3,000'

J. Carvel

The Guardian, October 8th 2002, p. 7

The government is heading for failure in its attempt to recruit an extra 15,000 GP's and consultants to the NHS by 2008, according to the King's Fund, an independent health think tank.

UPDATE: ARE THE TARGETS BEING MET?

J. Carvel

The Guardian, October 21st 2002, p.8

The article lists patients' waiting times for the London Borough of Enfield. Hospital waiting times remain the big test on which the credibility of the government's health policy depends.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

C. Meek

Health Which? October 2002, p.22-25

Article discusses the treatment available and that received by brain-injured patients after they leave A&E. It reveals the lack of consistency in services and treatment, the lack of awareness of head injuries, inadequate resources and recommendations that have been rejected.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web