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

BEGGARS BELIEF

J. Hacking

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Apr. 10th 2003, p.28-31

At the pace of change set for implementing the new Primary Care Trust (PCT) funding formula over the next three years, it will take more than 20 years to achieve equity by targeting extra funding on deprived areas. However, if minimum annual increases were set lower, this could be achieved in five years. The current state of affairs perpetuates the North-South health divide.

CONSULTANTS OFFERED "FEES-FOR-SERVICE"

M. Gould

Health Service Journals vol. 113, Apr. 24th 2003, p.6

The Department of Health has ruled out any renegotiations of the consultant contract. Instead, twelve hospital trusts are being invited to pilot local "fee-for-service" incentive schemes. The pilot schemes will pay annual bonuses to consultants who improve productivity, access, quality and service development. To receive payments, consultants will also have to meet new standards governing the relationship between NHS and private work and new standards of job planning.

COUNTING THE COST OF BALANCING THE BOOKS

S. Prestwood

Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Apr.9th 2003, p. 7-10

Of 73 primary care trusts (PCTs) which responded to a survey, only 27 faced overspends at the end of their first year of operation. They reported that extra funding had been eaten up by rising prescribing costs and meeting national targets. Most PCTs had used non-recurrent funds to achieve financial balance, at the expense new developments.

DELIVERING THE NHS PLAN: EXPENDITURE REPORT

Department of Health

London, 2003

In 2002/03 spending on the NHS reached almost £54.5bn, an increase of £5.2bn from 2001/02. Report provides an outline of overall NHS expenditure and demonstrates how the extra investment has been spent in 2002/03 and will be spent in 2003/04. It outlines the improvements that are being delivered as a result of the extra investment.

GPs WANT TO CHARGE £36 FOR VISITS

D. Derbyshire

The Daily Telegraph, Apr. 29th 2003, p.4

Six out of 10 GPs are so fed up with time-wasting patients they want to charge an average of £36 for home visits and £11 for missed appointments. The survey was carried out by a research company for Norwich Union Healthcare and was queried by the British Medical Association.

GRANDMOTHER SUES NHS OVER BILL FOR HIP SURGERY IN FRANCE

C. Arthur

The Independent, Apr. 3rd 2003, p.12

A woman aged 72 who went to France for a hip operation that cost her £3,800 has taken the NHS to court, seeking her money back.

THE HOSPITAL TRAVEL COSTS SCHEME

Department of Health

London: 2003

Guidance note is concerned with the financial help available under the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme to those patients who do not have a medical need for ambulance transport and who cannot meet the cost of travel.

IT'S IN THE DEFINITION

N. Valios

Community Care, Mar. 27th-2nd Apr. 2003, p. 32-34

The Appeal Court ruled in the Coughlan case in 1999 that if a person's primary need is for health care, the NHS is responsible for paying for nursing, personal care and accommodation as if they were in hospital. Social services would only have to pay if the nursing care was incidental to the provision of accommodation. It appears that guidance issued after the ruling telling health authorities to comply has not been followed, and that the judgement is being ignored. Individuals and social services departments are paying for care which in law should be provided free by the NHS.

NURSES VOTE FOR 12.5% RISE AND PAY REVOLUTION

J. Laurance

The Independent, Apr. 16th 2003, p. 10

The biggest shake up of NHS pay in more than a decade has won overwhelming support from nurses and midwives. The Royal College of Nursing announced that 88 per cent of nurses had voted to accept the Agenda for Change Proposals, which will give a basic 12.5 per cent rise over three years.

ONE-THIRD OF NHS'S EXTRA £5.2BN SPENT ON PAY RISES

C. Arthur

The Independent, Apr. 2nd 2003, p. 10

In its first detailed expenditure report showing where the money spent on the NHS actually goes, the Departmental of Health said that nearly one third of last years £5.2bn increase in the health service's budget went on pay increases to attract and retain staff.

(See also Financial Times, April 2nd 2003, p.8)

PATIENTS PAYING FOR HEALTHCARE 'TRIPLED SINCE 1997 ELECTION'

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Apr. 4th 2003, p. 6

The number of patients paying for private hospital treatment out of their own pockets has tripled since Labour took power in 1997, according to the Independent Healthcare Association. At the same time, NHS hospitals have been boosting their income from private patients when they are under pressure to cut waiting times.

PRIVATE PASSIONS

M. Gould

Health Service Journal, vol.113, May 1st 2003, p. 14-15

The GMB Union is strongly opposed to NHS privatisation as manifested in PFI deals and foundation trusts, and may withdraw financial support from the Labour Party in consequence.

TAX RISE THREAT OVER FRESH NHS INQUIRY

A Grice

The Independent, Apr. 22nd 2003, p. 1

Gordon Brown has ordered another inquiry into the funding of the National Health Service, which is expected to lead to a further inspection of billions of pounds next year. The Chancellor has asked Derek Wanlers, the former Chief executive of Nat West, to study whether the NHS needs more money on top of the £40bn allocation over five years announced last year.

UNISON DELEGATES BACK PLAN TO CHANGE NHS PAY

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Apr. 9th 2003, p. 10

Unison's national executive has won backing for the biggest pay change in the history of the NHS. The package, known as the Agenda for Change, will deliver an average 12.5 per cent pay rise over three years.

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