Headlines: October 2nd, 1998

For the first time, health and social services have been set targets for working together to modernise frontline care for patients.Local health and social services have been set the task of tackling the same set of priorities over the next three years.These are to cut waiting lists and times, modernise mental health and primary care services, reduce deaths from cancer and coronary heart disease and target the health of the worst off, and to improve the quality and safety of children s services and provide better rehabilitation services for elderly people.

Launching the document, Modernising Health and Social Services: National Priorities Guidance 1999/2000 2001/2002, Health Secretary Frank Dobson said: “This partnership will make sure that we get the best results from the extra eighteen billion pounds that the Government has found for the NHS in England and the extra three billion pounds for social services.

“We will break down the Berlin Wall between health and social care by meeting these tough modernisation targets. For the first time in the history of the NHS and social services the Government is moving beyond the stop-go short-termism of the annual planning cycle. Now both the NHS and social services have a stable three-year basis on which to plan.”