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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2004): National Health Service - Funding

CASH FOR SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS RISES AT FASTEST RATE FOR 30 YEARS

A. Seager

The Guardian, July 1st 2004, p.1

The amount of money being spent on schools and hospitals has grown at its fastest pace in almost 30 years. According to the Office of National Statistics, growth in public spending in the first quarter of the year rose by 5.7%, the biggest increase since the first three months of 1975. The output of the National Health Service - operations, patients treated and so on - had increased by more than been thought in recent years. Health output rose by just over 4% in each of the past three years, up from the previously estimated level of 2%-2.5%.

CONCORDAT OF CONTRACT? FACTORS FACILITATING OR IMPEDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS IN HEALTHCARE IN ENGLAND.

J.E. Field and E. Peck

Public Management Review, vol.6, 2004, p.253-272

Article reports the findings of the first phase of a qualitative study of the relationship between a private company and its public sector partners at four study sites. Findings show that NHS organisations do not view the development of public/private partnerships as a priority, but use contacts with private providers as an ad hoc means of boosting capacity. NHS bodies also have limited ability to engage in strategic level planning with the private sector. The findings are explored in the context of the evolution of "managed competition" in healthcare systems and the role of partnership in that process.

NHS FUNDS FOR POOR AREAS GO TO RICHEST

J. Carvel

The Guardian, July 8th 2004, p.6

Independent NHS inspectors have accused the government of short-changing patients in some of the poorest parts of England by denying their local hospitals and GPs a fair share of resources. The Healthcare Commission disclosed that NHS trusts in areas with the greatest problems were losing up to 20% of the money they were due under the official formula for assessing local health needs, agreed in December 2002. Cash is being withheld because ministers fear the consequences of reallocating resources from well-healed areas that were found to be over funded.

SCHEME TO PROCESS NHS CLINICAL TESTS IN INDIA

H. Tomlinson

The Guardian, July 9th 2004 p.1

The government is considering shipping blood and urine samples from NHS patients to India for clinical tests in order to cut costs.

SMASH AND GRAB

K. Walshe

Health Service Journal, vol.114, July 8th 2004, p.14-15

The article expresses concern about large U.S. for-profit companies delivering NHS services under contract. There is clear evidence that for-profit healthcare is worse for patients. A recent review of 149 research studies showed that non-profit healthcare providers consistently perform better in areas like access, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

YOUR MONEY OR THEIR LIFE

N. Summerton

Health Service Journal, vol.114, July 15th 2004, p.24-25

The new Angiotensin receptor blockers are more expensive than conventional treatments for high blood pressure but also have significant benefits for the management of heart failure and diabetes. Unfortunately the National Institute for Clinical Excellence is recommending in its draft guidance that the new drugs should be second or third choice for treatment of hypertension. Its analysis of their costs and benefits overlooks their positive impact on diabetes and heart failure management.

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