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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2005): National Health Service - Funding

Anti-TNF drugs for rheumatoid arthritis

A. Bosworth

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.11, 2005, p.148-151

In 2002, NICE cleared anti-TNF drugs for use with patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis. However, needy patients are still being denied access due to cost pressures, as funding is diverted to high profile diseases.

Cornwall’s funding does not fit its rurality

S. Bennett and others

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.11, 2005, p.142-147

The English NHS funding formula, unlike those of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, does not recognise the special needs of rural areas. Article demonstrates how NHS funding for Cormwall does not adequately acknowledge its rurality and the associated realities of delivering care.

Net closes on firms draining NHS lifeblood

S. Bowers

The Guardian, June 2nd 2005, p.20

Investigators from the Serious Fraud Squad and the NHS are believed to be closing the net on up to a dozen companies and their senior executives who are said to have cheated the NHS out of hundreds of millions of pounds. The fraud investigation has revealed suspected price-fixing with regard to some of the most commonly prescribed NHS drugs. Charges could be brought this year against cartels suspected of a scam that involved restricting the supply of vital drugs, thus forcing the health service to put them on an emergency procurement list and pay inflated prices.

NHS cash threat to patients

J. Carvel

The Guardian, June 24th 2005, p.1

The NHS in England went £140m into the red last year and is in need of big injection of financial expertise to avoid spending running out of control, public watchdogs have warned. After a joint investigation, the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission said many hospitals were ill-equipped to survive in the competitive healthcare market being set up by the government. They warned of serious consequences for patients if trusts were forced suddenly to close wards and axe staff to remain solvent. The audit bodies found that a quarter of NHS hospital trusts failed to meet their obligation to break even in 2003-04 and auditors were now concerned about the financial standing of a third of all NHS bodies.

(See also The Independent, June 24 2005, p.20; The Times, June 24th 2005, p.12; Financial Times, June 24th 2005, p.1)

NHS organisations flounder despite record funding

N.Timmins

Financial Times, June 16th 2005, p.4

More National Health Service organisations have recorded bigger financial deficits for the fourth year running in spite of record levels of NHS funding, figures to be released next week will show. The figures, to be disclosed by the Department of Health, National Audit Office and Audit Commission, brought a stark warning from James Strachan, the Audit Commission Chairman, that the public sector needed a big improvement in its financial management as the government introduced more choice, more competition and greater diversity of providers in public services.

One big dysfunctional family in need of some tough love

D. Carlisle

Health Service Journal, vol.115, June 16th 2005, p.16-17

The role of NHS boards is becoming more prominent under the new financial regime of payment by results. They need to be more effective in challenging the executive and more focused on strategic thinking.

QOF investment clawed back

S. Forbes

Practice Management, vol.15, May 2005, p.16-17

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) was created as a mechanism for rewarding GP practices for improving the quality of care. However the value of the bonuses paid under the scheme are being eroded by below-inflation increases in baseline funding.

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