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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2004): National Health Service - Reform - General

BUILT TO LAST

C. Lewis

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Jan. 22nd 2004, p.28-29

The Greater Manchester Children and Young People's Network is aiming to redesign children's health care services in advance of the emerging National Service Framework. Initiatives include provision of care close to home, community paediatric nursing teams and GPs with a special interest. The Network is also attempting the difficult task of widening its social care role in response to the Green Paper on reform of children's services "Every Child Matters".

CHAMBER OF HORRORS

H. Mooney

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, Jan. 15th 2004, p.12-13

The article summarises the debate in the House of Commons on ministerial manipulation of the star ratings system for hospitals.

CHAOS AHEAD FOR FOUNDATION HOSPITALS

J. Carvel

The Guardian, January 21st 2004, p. 5

The Department of Health's plan for foundation hospitals to organise elections to their governing bodies was in chaos last night as local NHS chiefs warned they were open to take-over by extremist groups. So few people have registered to become voting members of the trusts that the results could be determined by a small number of activists or patient groups eager to gain a larger share of NHS resources for treating a particular condition.

FAREWELL TO ARMS

H. Mooney

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Jan.22nd 2004, p.14-15

The Department of Health is to review and rationalise NHS agencies such as the National Clinical Assessment Authority and the NHS Litigation Authority to reduce the burden of oversight and bureaucracy on frontline services.

HEALTH SERVICE REVOLUTION DOGGED BY CONTROVERSY

N. Timmins

Financial Times, January 13th 2004, p.3

Article suggests that a revolution in the way services are provided on the NHS began taking shape when Netcare, the South African Healthcare company, signed a £40m-plus contract to provide more than 40,000 cataract operations over the next five years using two mobile £1m- plus operating sites. But the deal to bring in overseas providers to run 40 independent treatment centres for the NHS continued to be dogged by controversy with the National Audit Office inquiring into the sums the NHS is paying for the deal. In addition doctors expressed concerns about the impact the treatment centres - aimed at reducing long waiting lists - will have on other NHS services.

INCREASING THE IMPACT OF HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH ON SERVICE IMPROVEMENT AND DELIVERY

P. Dash

Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust

Much of what is produced in the name of health services research is irrelevant to NHS managers. They take strategically important decisions without recourse to sound evidence partly because they lack the skills to understand and appraise research results. At the same time, academic researchers can follow their own agenda and fail to deliver answers to the questions managers are asking. This consultation document seeks to stimulate debate on how the quality of research commissioning and dissemination can be improved.

LIFETIME COMMITMENT

R. Rosen

Health Service Journal, vol. 114, Jan.29th 2004, p.22-23

Discusses patient choice in the context of chronic illness. Patients with chronic illnesses typically require different levels of care at different times. Choice in this context must include respect for patients' personal values and lifestyles, as well as choice of provider. Article concludes by considering the limits of choice.

MANAGING NOT TO MANAGE: MANAGEMENT IN THE NHS

H. Sergeant

Centre for Policy Studies, 2003

Reports a series of interviews with NHS managers. All interviewees complained about the "overbearing presence" of central government in the form of endless demands for information, form-filling and target setting. Chief executives interviewed saw their role as handling the politics, the networking and the phoney initiatives required by central government. The overwhelming impression is that the NHS is fundamentally dysfunctional because it is constantly attempting to satisfy goals that do not relate to the avowed purpose of the organisation.

ONLY CONNECT

D. Fillingham

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Jan.22nd 2004, p.18-19

Discusses the challenges facing the Modernisation Agency in turning the present plethora of unconnected NHS improvement initiatives into a lasting transformation of the service. In order to do this, it will focus on strengthening its partnership with Strategic Health Authorities and launch a series of improvement partnerships to join up modernisation initiatives at the local level.

PICK OF THE CROP

R. Taylor and J. Hanlon

Health Service Journal, vol. 114, Jan. 29th 2004, p.21-23

Reports results of research using a series of focus groups to explore attitudes to patient choice in the context of elective surgery. Patients want both good local services and the option to go elsewhere for treatment. Most preferred the NHS to being treated privately or going abroad. Older and less affluent patients felt ineffective in influencing their treatment and frustrated by the lack of response of professionals to their concerns.

REMOTE CONTROL

C. Lewis

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Jan. 29th 2004, p.32-33

Remote disease monitoring uses information technology to link a patient at home with medical staff and systems. It has the potential to improve chronic disease management and cut costs in the long term. Telecare technology is popular in the US, but has yet to catch on in the UK.

'STAR' NHS BOSS MOVED IN FEAR OVER HOSPITAL RATING

J. Carvel

The Guardian, January 23rd 2004, p. 13

Notes that a high-flying NHS manager who turned round the failing Chase Farm hospital in Enfield, North London, was forced out of his job because ministers feared it might slip back in this year's star ratings.

TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF LOCAL PROTEST: HOSPITAL CLOSURE AND COMMUNITY RESISTANCE

T. Brown

Social & Cultural Geography, Vol. 4 2003, p.489-506

The article examines the role and the value of a hospital in a community. It begins by looking at the restructuring of the NHS and community resistance to it before going on to examine in detail the campaign to save Kidderminister General Hospital from downsizing.

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