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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2003): National Health Service - General

ADMIN ERROR

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 13th 2003, p. 12

Reports renewed media attacks on the numbers of managers employed by the NHS. A recent report from the Centre for Policy Studies claimed that the NHS employed 269,081 managers and administrators compared to 266,170 nurses. The Department of Health says the figure for managers is in fact about 26,000.

ALL CHANGE

A. McLellan

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 13th 2003, p. 20-21

Interview with Beverly Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, focuses on implementation of the Agenda for Change package. If accepted by staff, this will radically reform nurses' pay. Discusses possible implementation problems due to lack of HR staff resources and an untried computer system.

ALL NHS PATIENTS TO GET PRIVATE OPTION

J. Carvel

The Guardian, February 12th 2003, p.13

Within three years all NHS patients in England will be able to choose to be treated free of charge in a private hospital according to Health Secretary Alan Milburn. The proposal would differ from previous experiments, which allowed patients to be treated privately if they had spent too long on the NHS waiting list.

(See alsoThe Daily Telegraph, February 12th 2003, p.6)

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

P. Stephenson

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 13th 2003, p.14

Describes schemes to teach children and migrants how to use the NHS properly in order to manage demand downwards.

BOOST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT BIRTH CHOICES

K. Maguire and M. White

The Guardian, February 17th 2003, p. 14

Sweeping improvements to the information the NHS makes available to pregnant women before, while and after they give birth were announced yesterday. The Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, is to ask the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to draw up new guidelines for patients, GPs and hospitals to cover pregnancy, labour, postnatal care and other sensitive areas.

(See also The Times, February 17th 2003, p. 4)

A BRUSH WITH POLITICS

N. Edwards

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 20th 2003, p. 20-21

Report on an interview with Shadow Health Secretary Dr. Liam Fox, in which he advocates NHS deregulation, and greater autonomy for all hospitals.

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE COMES OF AGE IN THE NHS

N. Bostock

Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Feb. 19th 2003, p. 17-19

Alternative medicine has historically not been available on the NHS due to lack of regulation and of an evidence base for its effectiveness. Article reports on projects aiming to build the required evidence base, and develop a consensus on clinical governance.

COURTESY ENTITLES

M. Calnan, G. Woodhead and P. Dieppe

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 20th 2003, p. 30-31

A study of 72 elderly patients showed maintenance of dignity to be a key issue in their estimation of quality of care. Concerns about loss of dignity centred on lack of privacy, mixed sex wards, forms of address and loss of independence. Study also suggested that older people do not complain about care for fear of retaliation.

CREATING AN NHS SAFETY CULTURE: WHERE TO BEGIN?

P. Thomson

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 9, 2003, p. 52-56

Current evidence supports the assertion that there is a lack of a safety culture in the NHS. Article discusses the application of the proven ISO 9000 quality management model to the process of internal audit in the NHS in order to improve patient safety.

DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL: PATHWAY, PROCESS AND PRACTICE

Department of Health

London: 2003

This workbook offers NHS staff good practice guidance on hospital discharge planning. Calls for:

  • active engagement of patients and their carers in the planning of their care;
  • recognition of carers' rights to assessment and support;
  • effective communication after discharge between primary, secondary and social care;
  • operation of a joint discharge policy that facilitates multi-disciplinary working;
  • development of integrated discharge planning teams;
  • designation of individuals at ward level to take on the role of care co-ordination.

A GENDER FOR CHANGE

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 113,. Feb. 20th 2003, p. 26-29

Discusses progress to date with the abolition of mixed-sex hospital wards. The move has been costly of management time and resources, and has led to loss of flexibility in bed use. However it has improved dignity and privacy for patients.

HOSPITAL FOOD

U. Arens

Health Which? Feb. 2003, p. 12-15

Hospital food suffers from a bad reputation. The Better Hospital Food Programme has been influential in widening choice. The focus on food quality and choice is important, but many of the criticisms made relate to the presentation of food on the ward. Plans for an increase in the number of staff supporting the preparation and service of food on the ward should improve the situation.

INQUIRING MIND

L. Donnelly

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 6th 2003, p. 22-23

Report on an interview with Ian Kennedy, shadow chair of the Commission for Health Care Audit and Inspection. He envisages the new body as independently measuring the performance of NHS organisations against strict performance targets while helping the service improve.

INSPECTORS SLAM PFI HOSPITAL IN REPORT

J. Carvel

The Guardian, February 27th 2003, p. 11

Management of the hospital that pioneered the private finance initiative in the NHS has been criticised in a report by government health inspectors. The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) said there was "lack of leadership, direction and planning", at the NHS trust running Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

(See also The Times, February, 27th 2003, p. 2)

INTO EXTRA TIME

A. Cole

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 13th 2003, p. 26-28

One in seven workers in the NHS are now aged over 50 and will retire in the next ten years. The NHS staffing crisis could therefore deepen significantly, made worse by a growing trend for staff to become demoralised and leave early. Article goes on to discuss a range of measures being introduced to encourage staff to stay on based on more flexible working practices.

KEEPING THE NHS LOCAL: A NEW DIRECTION OF TRAVEL

Department of Health

London: 2003

Guidance proposes sustainable solutions for smaller hospitals to secure their role at the heart of local communities. Technological developments alongside changing workforce roles open up a new range of possibilities for smaller hospitals and localised services. These include developing links between small and large hospitals through telemedicine, and integration of primary care with a minor injuries unit, outpatient clinics and diagnostics at a local hospital.

MILBURN IN CHALLENGE TO TREASURY

P. Wintour

Guardian, Feb. 21st 2003, p.1

Focuses on arguments between the Treasury and the Health Secretary over the creation of about 50 foundation hospitals. Such continuing arguments between Blairites and supporters of the Chancellor reflect wider differences over the extent to which choice, markets and decentralisation of power can act as a spur to better public services.

NHS IMPORTS STAFF FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO CUT WAITING LISTS

J. Carvel, P. Butler and D. Batty

The Guardian, February 19th 2003, p.6

The NHS is to import teams of surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses from South Africa in an attempt to reduce the waiting list for hip operations in north-west England.

NHS REFORM 'JEOPARDISED BY CONSTANT TINKERING

N. Timmins

Financial Times, February, 11th 2003, p. 5

Constant changes to the structure of the National Health Service are jeopardising the government's ambitious plans for reform, according to Sir Andrew Foster, the departing controller of the Audit Commission. The government needed to do more to encourage motivation and engage staff in the necessary changes, he said.

OVERSEAS, OVER HERE

P. Smith

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb 20th 2003, p. 14

Thirteen projects to bring overseas medical teams to work in the NHS are up and running, with a further 12 in the pipeline. These teams have proved their worth in reducing waiting times for treatment.

PATIENTS' FOOD FINALLY OFF THE CRITICAL LIST

M. Mills and J. Carvel

The Guardian, February 27th 2003, p. 11

Government food inspections have shown a marked improvement in the standards of hospital food. Only 14 hospitals were given a "red light" warning for poor standards - compared with 89 in the last government survey in 2001.

(See also The Independent, February 27th 2003, p. 11; The Times, February 27th, 2003, p. 13)

web linkREFORMING THE NHS COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE: PATIENT FOCUS AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT (PDF format)

NHS Scotland

Edinburgh: Scottish Executive, Health Care Division, 2003

Paper details proposals aimed at simplifying the NHS complaints system in Scotland, updating the procedure and the roles of NHS organisations. It suggests increasing the independence of the process either by establishing a National Complaints Authority or by involving the Ombudsman at an earlier stage. Other proposals focus on improvement of complaints resolution at the local level.

SAFETY, QUALITY, EFFICACY: REGULATING MEDICINES IN THE UK

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC 255)

Reports on the role of the Medicines Control Agency in protecting public health by regulating medicines, in providing information on them, and in helping the pharmaceutical industry.

SMALL MERCIES

T. Shifrin

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 27th 2003, p. 12-13

Report of a conference hosted by Kidderminster Hospital Health Concern which welcomed recent government support for a continuing role for small local hospitals. However there is continuing concern over lack of popular input into local health service planning and consultation about changes.

STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING THE SEXUAL HEALTH OF YOUNG PEOPLE

D. Berkeley and D. Ross

Culture, Health and Sexuality, vol. 5, 2003, p. 71-86

Paper draws upon the results of an in-depth case study of the process of developing an integrated approach to sexual health in East Yorkshire. Findings indicate that partnership working is severely curtailed by cultural barriers between different stakeholders when operating under their traditional roles. By contrast, when encountered common tasks were new, cultural barriers did not appear to matter, and cultural diversity became a positive factor.

TERRORISM AND PUBLIC HEALTH: A BALANCED APPROACH TO STRENGTHENING SYSTEMS AND PROTECTING PEOPLE

B. S. Levy and V. W. Sidel

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003

This book provides a comprehensive review of a wide variety of public health aspects of terrorism. It looks at potential terrorist weapons and approaches to reducing threats from these weapons and at ways of improving the public health system, protecting civil liberties, promoting international law and exploring the roots of terrorism.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Feb. 20th 2003, Suppl. 32 p.

Describes progress with the implementation of the government's five-year strategy for NHS staff training. Covers the skills escalator, establishment of new medical schools to train more doctors, the launch of the NHS University, and the work of the NHS Leadership Centre.

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