Headlines: May 27th, 2002

The Health Secretary is promising to reduce the amount of paperwork that
NHS trusts and hospitals must produce for Whitehall.

Alan Milburn has promised that the scores of plans required each year
will be reduced by at least two thirds.

He says in future plans, and monitoring, will focus around delivering
the core priorities. Interest will increasingly be on outcomes and
outputs. That will allow the volume of overall guidance and monitoring
to be reduced.

The Health Secretary told members of the NHS Confederation that the
number of circulars issued to the NHS each year had already been
reduced, but acknowledged that senior managers are still receiving too
much ‘clutter’ that does not help them focus on the core priorities.

He’s also promised to establish a panel of senior managers and
clinicians from the NHS to act as a firebreak, to vet communications
between the Department and local health services so they are limited to
those that are absolutely necessary.

This is a move very similar to that taken by David Blunkett when he was
in charge at Education, and correspondence with headteachers was
radically reduced in consultation with a panel of practitioners.