Archives for February 18th, 2002

RATIONING: CONSTRUCTED REALITIES AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES

Book News, PublicNet: 18 February, 2002

First editionEdited by DAVID HUGHES

This volume examines health care rationing in action using recent case studies from the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. Drawing on data from a variety of hospital and community settings, the contributors show how prioritisation and access to care depend on organisational arrangements and professional practices, which are often invisible to the service user. Unusually for a book on this topic, many of the chapters provide detailed accounts of micro-level decision making at the point of service delivery. They seek to penetrate the ‘black box’ of the organisation – the emergency department, the intensive care unit, the cancer genetics clinic or the community mental health team – to shed light on processes by which access to care is denied, delayed, or otherwise limited. The book presents a picture of rationing processes that are ‘implicit’ rather than ‘explicit’, and closely woven into the fabric of professional cultures and modes of working.

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GUIDE TO QUALITY

Headlines, PublicNet: 18 February, 2002

The British Medical Association has tried to provide NHS consultants with a route map through the various initiatives that aim to drive up quality in the service.’Quality initiatives – a guide for consultants in England’ defines and explains the role of the various organisations and mechanisms that exist to regulate the performance of doctors and hospitals.

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NEW PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT FOR LOCAL COUNCILS

Headlines, PublicNet: 18 February, 2002

The Local Government Association has criticised new plans to pigeonhole local councils as ‘top performing, striving, coasting or failing’.It fears that councils will be stigmatised by their alloted label, rather than recognised for their action plan to improve.

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