Headlines: July 17th, 2000

The British Medical Association says the publication of the second set of clinical and performance indicators for hospitals up and down the country need to be read with a ‘huge health warning’. It has described them as crude and unreliable.It is backing the publication of reliable statistics as a way of driving up performance, but it says that the NHS Performance Indicators are a long way from providing the breadth and quality of information that doctors and managers need to improve patient care. The BMA is advising that the data is used as a tool to point to where questions should be asked, rather than providing evidence in their own right. This year’s report spends some time reporting on actions taken to improve by those hospitals whose services got poor ratings last year.

It says that it is too early for the new figures to show the full evidence of change as a result of the first figures, but it promised these will be evident in the next set, out in December this year.
Links: www.doh.gov.uk and www.bma.org.