Archives for January 16th, 2002

BETTER PUBLIC SERVICES VITAL FOR TACKLING SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 January, 2002

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott addressing the Fabian Society said that ensuring everybody has access to high quality public services is the best way to lift those who find themselves at the bottom of the ladder into the mainstream. He admitted that often the poorest services are in areas where people need them the most. He spelled out the Government’s strategy of improving services in parallel with action on incomes to provide ‘progressive universalism’ so that standards are raised for all, but more provided for those who need it most.Poor services in deprived areas are being tackled by the introduction of floor targets, or minimum standards for every area in the country. This will result in better schools, improved health care, safer streets and better housing for those who live in deprived communities.

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HEALTH SERVICE HEADING FOR DEVOLUTION

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 January, 2002

Health Secretary Alan Millburn has re-defined the role of the government as the overseer of the NHS. He wants greater community ownership and less state ownership to bring more diversity in local services. This will be done by putting doctors, nurses, and managers, in a position where they can improve services for patients, rather than trying to run the NHS from the top like a nationalised industry.Freedom to manage will be restricted to those hospitals and primary care trusts that earn autonomy. Under the star rating system introduced last year, 35 of the 173 acute hospitals were awarded a three star rating and it is this top category that will receive the greatest measure of management freedom. The three-star trusts could become autonomous, self-governing foundation hospitals with the ability to spend their money as they see fit. They will have the option of establishing themselves as not-for-profit companies. Currently if hospitals sell land, the money would have to go into a central pot, but under the proposed arrangements they will be able to keep it for themselves. Central oversight of performance will be achieved through the national standards framework and independent inspection by the Commission for Health Improvement.

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NHS MODERNISATION BOARD ANNUAL REPORT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 16 January, 2002

The report of the Modernisation Board reviews the first year of progress towards delivering the NHS Plan, the Government’s 10-year reform programme for the health service. It describes the progress made in the past year including cancer care, primary care access, the spread of clinical governance, and other important processes. Achievements include: 25 per cent more critical care beds, 0.5 more general and acute beds and a 30% increase in CT cancer scanners. In addition, 91 per cent of patients with suspected cancer are now seen by a specialist within two weeks of referral from their GP. Some 790 GP surgeries have been modernized and there are 10,000 more nurses working in the NHS. than in the previous year. The Board estimates that currently less than 15 per cent of staff are actively involved in modernisation work and it sets out a goal to increase this to 100% within 5 years. It will also develop tight linkages between leadership development and the improvement agenda.Modernisation Board Annual Report published by the Department of Health. www.doh.gov.uk  <http://www.doh.gov.uk>

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