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Patient experiences to be new focus for NHS


-- New goals to measure the quality of care in the NHS are to be set, with patient surveys at the heart of the initiative.


Health Minister Andrew Lansley is to call for more focus on what really matters to patients according to the BBC and The Telegraph.
Surveys will be carried out with patients, bereaved relations and children, asking them to record their experience of the care they, or their family member, received in what is called the NHS “Outcomes Framework.”
The new framework will look at staff responsiveness to patient needs when in hospital and will also aim to make NHS dentists more accessible. It will also seek to increase help for older people following illness, allowing them to return to independence.
[quote top=Mr Lansley said]: We have to clear the decks and be clear this is what we are focusing on. People say, 'In three and a half years' time, in 2015, at the next election, how will we know whether you've succeeded or not?' The answer is, 'Have the outcomes improved?'
It will be my failure if we haven't improved them and the NHS should feel that it has not succeeded, that is what we are setting out to do.[/quote]
He said he was concerned that for many diseases, including cancer, Britain's survival rates lag behind other countries. "If we were to achieve internationally benchmarked, highest levels of cancer survival, we would save 5,000 lives a year. That's what our cancer outcome strategy is aiming for," he stressed.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham commented: "Doctors and nurses will roll their eyes in sheer disbelief at this news. The Government that promised to scrap NHS targets now loads 60 new targets on an NHS already under severe pressure. It will add red tape and bureaucracy just as the NHS is struggling to cope with the financial challenge and the biggest reorganisation in its history."
Source: BBC / The Telegraph.