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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 1999): National Health Service - Funding

COST BENCHMAKING : UTILITIES SHOW THE WAY

J. Sussex

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 5, 1999, p. 265-267

The cumulative experience of the regulators in the water and electricity supply industries has yielded important insights into the use of cost benchmarking to promote efficiency. Article draws lessons of direct relevance to the NHS, where the Department of Health is keen to apply this tool to improve performance.

DOBSON PRAISES PFI FOR EARLY HANDOVERS

L. Whitfield

Health Service Journal, vol. 109, July 29th 1999, p. 10

Frank Dobson has told the Health Select Committee that publicly funded hospitals were still being delivered late while PFI projects were being handed over early. He also denied that PFI was driving down bed numbers, insisting that decisions about these were made before any decision about financing.

DRUG COMPANIES AGREE PRICE CUTS FOR NHS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, July 14th 1999, p. 11

The pharmaceutical industry has agreed a 4.5% price cut in drugs supplied to the NHS, followed by a 15 month freeze, in return for more generous research and development allowances and greater rewards for innovative drugs and exports. The 4.5% price cut will save the NHS £200m on its £7bn drugs bill.

(See also Guardian, July 14th 1999, p.6)

FAIR SHARES FOR ALL: REPORT OF THE REVIEW OF RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE NHS IN SCOTLAND

J. Arbuthnott (chair)

Edinburgh: Scottish Executive, 1999

The proposed new formula for resource allocation for the NHS in Scotland has four key elements:

  • an adjustment for the size of each Board's population;
  • an adjustment to account for the age and gender of the population;
  • an adjustment to reflect needs arising from morbidity and life circumstances, including deprivation, poverty and ethnicity;
  • an adjustment to reflect the extra costs of delivering health care in rural and remote areas.

MINISTERS DECLARE THE END OF ANNUAL COST-CUTTING TARGETS

Health Service Journal, vol. 109, July 8th 1999, p. 2

Reports that the government has called an end to the annual round of management cost-cutting targets in the NHS for the coming year. This follows a report on management cuts in the first year of the Labour government which shows that health authorities and trusts exceeded their targets.

PRIVATE CASH TO BUILD SIX NEW HOSPITALS

J. Laurance

Independent, July 8th 1999, p. 6

Reports Blair's defence of the private funding of hospital building at his launch of a further six projects worth £650m. However the high cost of borrowing from the private sector means regular payments by NHS trusts for existing PFI schemes range from 11.2% to 18.5% of construction costs, more than four times the 3-3.5% charge levied by the Treasury. To meet the extra costs NHS trusts have had to reduce beds and cut services.

STOCKTAKE OF NHS WALES

National Assembly for Wales, Health and Social Services Committee, 1999

A stocktake of the NHS in Wales has blamed the internal market and downsizing at the former Welsh Office for financial problems in many health authorities and trusts. Problems were compounded by short-termism, competing priorities and competing service issues.

SURCHARGE ON MOTORISTS TO PAY NHS COST

L. Baker

Independent, August 6th 1999, p. 6

Motorists are to be hit by big increases in their car insurance premiums after the Government's decision to claw back the cost of NHS treatment of road accident victims.

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