New information to help improve patient outcomes

Published on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 10:12
Posted by Scott Buckler

New information that will help put the NHS on the side of patients and improve results for patients has been published today

As part of the Government’s drive to improve results for patients, new detailed information on 20 of the 30 NHS Outcomes Framework indicators, which measure the care patients receive, has been published by the NHS Information Centre.

The figures provide a regional and local snapshot of how the NHS is performing against the Outcomes Framework. Crucially, they illustrate where there are variations in outcomes – highlighting the importance of the Government’s approach of concentrating on results, not targets.

For example, liver disease mortality rates have increased nationally over the last decade, but have decreased in the last few years in London and the South East, while rates were twice as high in the North West compared to the East of England in 2009.

The Government committed to focus on outcomes not process targets in 2010 and announced last year that the NHS would be held increasingly to account for measurable results, including whether a patient’s treatment was successful, whether they were looked after well by NHS staff, and whether they recovered quickly after treatment.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“The information published today is another step towards shifting the health service towards the benefits for people who matter - patients.

“Crucially, we aren’t telling doctors and nurses how to do their job – the approached adopted by the previous Government. We are now clear about what the NHS should achieve, not telling the NHS how to do its job. These results will shine a light on results achieved and where performance needs to be improved.”

The publication of the figures today means the NHS can be held to account for all aspects of care that patients receive, and is part of a drive to make the health service more transparent. They provide a basis for driving improvements in the future through the Secretary of State’s Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board, expected in the next few months and will allow the NHS to take action where patient outcomes are not as good as they should be.

NHS Medical Director Bruce Keogh said:

“Patients rightly expect the NHS to provide care that is effective and safe. And one of the things that makes for a positive patient experience is when everything joins up seamlessly as they move from GP surgery to hospital to community clinic or social care provider. So through the Outcomes Framework, and the information released today, the foundations are being laid to achieve just that.”

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