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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2003): National Health Service - Funding

BLAIR WARNED OVER 'HUGE' NHS GAMBLE

M White

The Guardian, January 8th 2003, p.9

Tony Blair is being warned that his government is taking an 'immense risk' in pumping billions of pounds into the National Health Service with no guarantee that productivity will rise fast enough to meet public expectations. The warning comes in a confidential report by Michael Barber, Head of the Downing Street Delivery Unit which acts as Mr Blair's progress chaser.

(See also The Independent, January 8th 2003, p.2; The Daily Telegraph, January 8th 2003, p.2; Financial Times, January 8th 2003, p.1)

NHS CONSULTANTS TO BE OFFERED LOCAL DEALS

J Carvel

The Guardian, January 24th 2003, p.11

Alan Milburn, the Health Secretary, yesterday abandoned 50 years of national pay bargaining in the NHS when he invited hospital consultants to negotiate local productivity deals, offering bonuses worth at least £10,000 a year in return for increases in the quality of work.

NO.10 TELLS MILBURN NOT TO SQUANDER NHS CASH

R Bennett and N Hawkes

Times, January 9th 2003, p.2

The Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit has warned that the managers of new primary care trusts may be unequal to the task of planning how best to spend the huge amounts of money being pumped into the NHS. There are serious risks that the money will be wasted.

(See also Independent, January 9th 2003, p.8)

THE PFI CONTRACT FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF WEST MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2002 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC 49)

Report examines a PFI project for the redevelopment of an NHS hospital to see the extent to which it has absorbed the lessons of previous reports by the Public Accounts Committee and how value for money was established in this case. Finds that the deal meets expected local needs with some flexibility to address the inherent uncertainties in long-term NHS plans. The Trust ran an effective procurement and secured the best available PFI deal. It considered that the unquantifiable benefits of the PFI deal outweighed the disadvantages.

PLANNING AND FUNDING SPECIALIST PALLIATIVE CARE PROVISION 2003/04-2005/06

Department of Health

London: 2003

Note confirms the announcement of £50m per annum central funding for specialist palliative care for cancer patients from 2003/04, notifies Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts of their shares of this budget, and sets out planning requirements.

TORIES PROMISE TO PRESCRIBE MORE CASH INJECTIONS FOR NHS

C Newman

Financial Times, January 21st 2003, p.6

Voters will have to pay more for their healthcare under Conservative proposals to reform the NHS. Liam Fox, the party's health spokesman says he envisages total spending on healthcare continuing to rise under a Tory government, but a higher percentage would come from private expenditure.

VACANT POSSESSION

S Osborne

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, January 9th 2003, p.24-25

St Mary's Hospital, London had a deficit of £5m due in part to the amount spent on temporary nursing staff. A review of the nursing workforce was undertaken to tackle this problem. Following the review, the workforce was stabilised through an international recruitment campaign. Nurses were also made aware of the cost of employing agency staff and encouraged to join the hospital bank.

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