The Independent, February 12th, 2003, p. 10
The government was accused of presiding over a "crumbling" NHS yesterday when figures revealed that the bill for the backlog of hospital repairs has soared to £3.4bn. The Liberal Democrats said the figures contrasted with the Government's target of cutting the repairs backlog by 2004.
The Guardian, February 19th 2003, p. 1
The government is to offer GPs a pay increase worth up to 30% over three years in an attempt to improve the quality of primary care and avoid an exodus of demoralised doctors.
Financial Times, February 11th, 2003 p.1
Hospital Chief Executives received pay rises two to five times bigger than those of other NHS staff last year - even though hospital boards were told senior managers' pay should not rise by more than the 3.7 per cent increase for the NHS as a whole. Income Data Services, the independent pay monitoring body, said changes in the way top managers' pay is reported had made it "impossible" to discern the true scale of the rises.
The Guardian, February 6, 2003, p. 10
Alan Milburn, the Health Secretary, said yesterday public sector hospitals should be free to raise money through local bond issues outside Treasury control. He said all NHS hospitals should eventually get foundation status with substantial autonomy and access to the financial markets.
(See also The Times, February 6th, 2003, p. 2)
Financial Times, Feb. 20th, 2003, p. 4
After investigating four test cases, the Health Service Ombudsman has found that health authorities have since 1996 misinterpreted Department of Health guidance on whether elderly patients should or should not have to pay for nursing home care. This had led many people being wrongly charged for continuing care. Calls on health authorities to check their records and reimburse the patients or their estates.
The Guardian, February 4th, 2003, p. 5
One of Britain's leading cancer consultants warned yesterday that the NHS was "on the brink of implosion", as billions of pounds of increased public spending flooded into a failing bureaucratic system.
Public Finance, Feb. 7th-13th, 2003, p. 24-25
The NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) scheme is designed to facilitate the refurbishment of GPs' surgeries. East LIFT project will set up a registered company or LIFTco, partly owned by a private sector partner. Each LIFTco will buy existing properties from GPs, refurbish them and lease them back at a rent set by the district valuer.
Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Feb. 19th 2003, p. 8-10
In spite of large increases in funding, primary care trusts are struggling to deliver improved services within available resources. Increases in funding have been eaten up by rising salary and prescribing costs.
Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Feb. 5th, 2003, p. 12-13
The new three-year funding allocations to primary care trusts will facilitate long term planning and investment. However, government has made it clear that no additional funds will be forthcoming, and trusts face uncertainty over how much of the money will be swallowed up by salary and prescribing costs.