Department of Health
London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 6079)
The report outlines reforms designed to widen patient choice in the NHS in England. Priority will be given to:
London: Department of Health, 2003
The report claims sustained progress in the last three years with acceleration in the last six months. This has been made possible by increased funding and achieved in part by redesigning services and introducing new ways of working. Services are now delivered more quickly and more conveniently, with more support in the home and in the community. On current trends the NHS is well placed to hit government targets and achieve waiting times of six months for admission and thirteen weeks for outpatients by he end of 2005.
British Journal of Health Care Management, Vol. 9, No.12, 2003, p.402-405
The article argues that the benefits of investing in health information and allowing patients to make informed decisions about their health and treatment will outweigh the costs.
Public Finance, Dec. 5th-11th 2003, p.28-29
Trust staff, patients and the public can join foundation hospital trusts as members, with rights to elect the ruling council or board. The success of this policy initiative depends on the ability of trusts to engage with the public. Experience with early public and staff consultation exercises run by trusts applying for foundation status has not been encouraging, as little interest has been shown.
British Journal of Health Care Management, Vol. 9, No.12, 2003, p.409
The article explores the implications of a last minute amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, which stated that the first 57 foundation trusts would have to be evaluated before any subsequent entrants were able to make the transition. Although this allows for early lessons to be learned, there are concerns about whether this delay will simply extend the two-tier health service feared by many backbench Labour MPs. The form of the evaluation is also explored.
Public Finance, Dec.5th-11th 2003, p.30-31
Discusses a number of legal hazards in the proposals for creating foundation hospitals. There are risks of legal disputes over payments and service levels between the hospitals and commissioning primary care trusts if finances are tight on either side. There are also concerns that trust boards may be dominated by middle class members of the community and pressure groups, leading to distortions in health policy.
Health Service Journal, vol.113, Dec.18th 2003, p.3-5
Former Health Secretary Alan Milburn personally intervened to ensure that Durham Healthcare Trust received three stars in the 2002 ratings because it serves the Prime Minister's constituency. The three star rating made the trust eligible for a £1 million capital funding grant and gave it significant freedom from government control.
British Journal of Health Care Management, Vol. 9, 2003, p.393-395
Minister for Health John Hutton defends Labour's reforms, arguing that change is the only way for the NHS to provide the services patients expect in the twenty-first century. He argues that the reforms will benefit patients, allowing them fast and convenient access to healthcare.
The Times, December 9th 2003, p. 4
The Health Secretary, John Reid, who believes only a cultural revolution can save the heath service from a mass defection to the private sector today announced measures designed to achieve "a personalised health service". These include:
Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, Dec.11th 2003, p.18-19
Discusses the role of the NHS Modernisation Agency in improving the quality of care, in workforce development and job re-design, and in updating the IT infrastructure.
J. Gillow, L. Sheldon and D. Humphris
British Journal of Health Care Management, Vol. 9, 2003, p.396-399
The article examines the new foundation degree in health care, developed by the University of Southampton in collaboration with NHS bodies in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is designed to:
British Journal of Health Care Management, Vol. 9, No.12, 2003, p.390
Equity within the NHS is one of New Labour's core aims. However, despite huge investment of both energy and resources, inequality remains rife. Health Secretary John Reid believes that education and greater patient choice will form the solution. However, the article questions whether this will really help those in the lowest socio-economic groups.
Health Service Journal, vol.113, Dec.18th 2003, p.14-15
Reports progress on the development of a national "data spine" for the NHS in England. By 2010 all 50 million NHS patients should have their own electronic care record, containing basic details of their medical history. Information in the care record will be accessible to hospitals, GPs and social services, leading to concerns about invasion of privacy.
Health Which? December 2003, p16-19
Current government policy aims to give NHS patients choices about where, when and how they are treated. Patients will be able to be treated in private hospitals, in the new diagnostic and treatment centres, and abroad as well as in their local hospital. However, exercise of choice requires access to good information about the options available.