Headlines: April 15th, 1999

The NHS is to introduce a Performance Assessment Framework to monitor how health care is being delivered. It will replace current indicators which focus on finance and efficiency.

The 41 indicators will provide a picture of performance in 6 areas: health improvement, fair access, effective delivery of healthcare, patient and carer experience, health outcomes of care and efficiency. The aim is to provide a balanced scorecard that ensures that what is important is measured. The Framework is the result of extensive consultation.

The introduction of the framework is part of the thrust to drive up standards. Trusts and Primary Care Groups will be able to compare their performance and find out where others are doing better. It will also provide a database for looking at particular sections of the community, eg the elderly and at particular conditions such as asthma.