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Report cover showing a doctor checking a child

NHS Pay Modernisation: New contracts for general practice services in England

“There is no doubt that a new GP contract was needed and there are now 4,000 more GPs than five years ago. But in return for higher pay, we have yet to see real increases in productivity. The extra money flowing into practices has largely benefited GP partners rather than rewarding other important members of the practice team. Primary Care Trusts now need to deliver to patients the benefits that were expected in return for GPs increase in pay.”

Published:
28 Feb 2008
Report cover showing male and female cut outs

Releasing resources to the frontline: the Department of Health’s Review of its Arm’s Length Bodies

“The Department should be commended for its management of the review, having achieved its savings targets. But there are lessons to be learnt more generally about making sure that targets are clear and focused on delivering value for money and improving performance. And it is essential that departments are able to measure their progress against a clear set of baselines, which need to be identified before projects start.”

Published:
25 Jan 2008
Report cover showing a nurse looking after a baby

Caring for Vulnerable Babies: The Reorganisation of neonatal services in England

“Neonatal services are a challenging and necessarily innovative area of medicine, caring for some of the National Health Service’s most vulnerable patients who must receive the best care possible. Efforts made by the Department to improve the service to date are encouraging, but there is still more to do. Top of the list must be addressing the staffing and capacity problems. And it is impossible to say whether the introduction of networks have improved the overall value for money of the service because of the lack of data on outcomes and the variable state, and use of, financial management information.”

Published:
19 Dec 2007
Report cover

NHS (England) Summarised Accounts 2006-07

“The NHS achieved a surplus in 2006-07 after a period of rising deficits. But this is not a time to be complacent; both the Department and the NHS accept that a number of challenges remain.

“The national picture is one of financial balance, but there remains a relatively small core of NHS organisations that continue to report significant deficits. There is no doubt that good financial management is linked to good patient care in the long term. A failure to keep a tight grip on financial performance will undermine service quality, an area in which the NHS must not let patients down.”

Published:
11 Dec 2007
Mental Health workers

Helping people through mental health crisis: The role of Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment services

“Crisis Resolution Home Treatment teams are really beginning to prove their worth in the NHS. They are providing significant benefits and increased satisfaction for service users and reducing pressure on hospital beds.

“However, a lack of resources and a lack of multi-disciplinary support are limiting what these teams can do. And not all of those who would benefit from this service are being considered for it. These issues need to be addressed if the service is to improve.”

Published:
7 Dec 2007
Report cover showing coal miners

Coal Health Compensation Schemes

“The former Department of Trade and Industry has settled some 575,000 coal health compensation claims which in itself would be a major achievement, but it did not prepare itself properly for introducing the schemes for these two serious mining related injuries. In the early stages the consequences were significant. The taxpayer has paid too much in administration costs and many claimants, some of whom are elderly and infirm, have had to wait a long time for their compensation.

“But the Department also showed what can be achieved once it started to get its act together. These schemes illustrate important lessons for other government departments when establishing and implementing future compensation schemes.”

Published:
18 Jul 2007
Report cover image

Improving services and support for people with dementia

“For too long dementia has not been treated as a high priority. Today’s report shines a light on how significant an issue dementia is and how much scope there is to improve the way in which people who suffer from dementia are treated.

“Our rapidly ageing population means that costs for addressing dementia will continue to increase and, without redesign, services for people with dementia are likely to become increasingly inconsistent and unsustainable. Dementia can no longer be set aside. The issues raised in this report need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Published:
4 Jul 2007
Report cover image showing Dr taking administering to a patient

The Management of Staff Sickness Absence in Department of Transport and its agencies

“Today’s report paints a mixed picture of sickness absence in the Department for Transport and its agencies. While some parts of the Department compare favourably against other public and private sector organisations and all parts of the Department appear to be proactive in managing sickness absence, the high rates in the customer-facing agencies of DVLA and DSA are worrying.

“The central department appears to have a good record of sickness absence but that does not absolve it from the responsibility to hold those agencies with high levels of sickness absence to account.”

The report makes recommendations on how the Department should better manage sickness absence. These include making line managers more aware of responsibilities when it comes to sick leave, making earlier use of occupational health services and ensuring better quality standards for recording sickness absence. Specific recommendations to agencies include the DVLA bringing long term sickness absence to a swifter resolution.

Published:
8 Jun 2007