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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2005): National Health Service - Reform - General

ABOLITION? IT'S NOTHING PERSONAL

N. Edwards

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Feb. 24th 2005, p.18-19

Report of an interview with Steve Lowden, chief executive of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, which will be abolished in 2006. Mr Lowden reflects on the reasons for the abolition of the Commission two years after its launch and on the likely configuration of the successor bodies. There is likely to be a small Institute of Patient and Public Involvement promoting good practice, a bigger role for the Appointments Commission in selecting patient forum members and some kind of regional network to support the forums themselves.

FOREIGN SURGEONS' WORK ATTACKED AS INFERIOR

C. Hall

The Daily Telegraph, Feb. 16th 2004, p.9

The president of the Royal College of Surgeons has cast doubt on the quality of the work carried out by foreign doctors working in independent treatment centres.

HAND MORE WORK TO PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SECTOR, MINISTERS TOLD

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Feb. 4th 2005, p.2

The NHS needs to hand over just under 10% of elective surgical procedures to privately run treatment centres in order to create a sustainable market. Without a guarantee of more operations to perform the current market is likely to collapse in four to seven years

HEALTHCARE COMMISSION CALLS FOR HELP AS COMPLAINTS FLOOD IN

I. Lloyd

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Feb.3rd 2005, p.5

The Healthcare Commission has been overwhelmed with complaints about the NHS and is facing a backlog of more than 3,700 grievances. A private company will be brought in to help clear the backlog.

IS NHS REFORM POLICY MORE SMART THAN WISE?

A. Cowper

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.11, 2005, p.41-43

Author reflects on the present state of NHS reform, focusing on primary care trust mergers, failure of the National Programme fro IT to engage with end users, limitations on clinical freedom and the role of the NHS Bank.

LACK OF INFORMATION WORRIES NHS PATIENTS

J. Carvel

The Guardian, Feb. 21st 2005, p.14

Millions of NHS patients think doctors do not give them enough information to make sensible choices about how they want to be treated, according to the health inspectorate for England. The Healthcare Commission's annual survey of patients found 30% did not feel fully involved in decisions about their medical care. The survey of 140,000 patients also confirmed anxiety about lack of cleanliness in hospitals.

LANSLEY SETS OUT NHS VISION

A. McLellan

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Feb.24th 2005, p.8-9

The Conservative health manifesto proposes an NHS in which:

  • the number of Primary Care Trusts is reduced to a maximum of 150;
  • central targets are abandoned for acute trusts but retained for public health and elements of primary care;
  • appropriate waiting times for treatment would be set by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence;
  • foundation trust watchdog Monitor would become the regulator for a mixed market of public and private secondary care;
  • Primary Care Trusts would lose the ability to restrict the use of practice-based budgets;
  • national procurement of Independent Treatment Centres would be abandoned.

The manifesto also includes action to:

  • tackle hospital-acquired infection;
  • reduce waiting lists,
  • improve public health ;
  • reorganise the commissioning of care.

"MARKETING INTELLIGENCE UNIT" TO GUIDE TRUSTS INTO NEW ERA

H. Mooney

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Feb. 24th 2005, p.5

The Department of Health has created a central "marketing intelligence unit" to teach NHS trusts how to strengthen their reputations as they compete for patients.

NHS EXPECTED TO ADVERTISE FOR PATIENTS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Feb. 24th 2005, P.6

The Department of Health is expecting National Health Service hospitals to advertise for business as the private sector becomes increasingly involved in providing NHS services, and patients are given more choice over where they are treated.

NHS STRIPS AFRICA OF ITS DOCTORS

N. Hawkes

The Times, Feb. 22nd 2005, p. 24

Recruiting doctors and nurses from Ghana has saved the National Health Service £65 million in training costs since 1999, according to a report by Save the Children. However, it has deprived one of Africa's poorest countries of the £35 million that it spent on training them.

THE NEW POLITICS OF MEDICINE

B. Salter

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

Propelled by Bristol Royal Infirmary, Alder Hay and the Harold Shipman case, a new politics of medicine is emerging from the changing relationship between medicine, society and the state. It is characterised by informed health consumers, an interventionist state and a mobilised medical profession. Medicine has been abruptly politicised by a range of novel pressures, yet continuities within its re-energised institutions remain intact and with them the sustaining realities of power. The author probes beneath the surface of political rhetoric and policy statements to identify the power struggles which are shaping the new politics of medicine.

NO MORE "SILENT STOOGES"

A. Nolan

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Feb. 3rd 2005, p.18-19

Report of an interview with Sir William Wells, NHS Appointments Commission Chair, in which he discusses the difficulties involved in recruiting effective non-executive directors to serve on boards of NHS bodies. A combination of rapid policy change, greater scrutiny of performance and poor pay are making good quality "non-execs" hard to find.

"RED TAPE, SCRUTINY AND NAMING AND SHAMING": THE NEW RATINGS

I. Lloyd

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Feb.17th 2005, p.5-8

Reports responses by NHS trust chief executives to a survey of their views about the Healthcare Commission's new rating system. Overall a majority of the 75 respondents preferred the new system to the old star ratings. However, 81% of respondents feared that the system of prompts, designed as guidelines to help organisations to assess their own performance, would turn into 472 proxy targets. There were also concerns about how effectively non-executive directors, patient forums and local authority scrutiny committees would be able to discharge their role of ensuring standards were met. Chief executives of foundation trusts were also concerned that the Healthcare Commission's work would duplicate that of their own independent regulator, Monitor.

TAKE YOUR PARTNER BY THE HAND …

K. Harmond

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.11, 2005, p.52-53

Reflects on how managers can go about turning the widespread rhetoric about partnership between the NHS and the private sector into reality.

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