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Report cover showing a 17 Century painting of a man pouring alcohol into a bowl in a drinking establishment

Reducing Alcohol Harm: Health services in England for alcohol misuse

“Alcohol misuse constitutes a heavy and increasing burden on the NHS. If services to tackle alcohol misuse are going to make a bigger difference, Primary Care Trusts need to understand better the scale of the problem in their local communities. With its increased focus on the prevention of lifestyle-related illness, the Department of Health could, for example, do more to convince Trusts about the value of timely advice to help people develop safer drinking patterns.”

Published:
29 Oct 2008
Report cover showing two people discussing complaints

Feeding back? Learning from complaints handling in health and social care

“The complaints systems for health and social care are not yet as accessible and responsive as they could be. There is a lack of learning from complaints, and providers are not making clear to users that services are being improved as result. Adequate staff training; proper tackling of complaints; and evidence of improvements in response to complaints are key pointers for the planned introduction of a new comprehensive complaints system across health and social care next year.”

Published:
10 Oct 2008
Report cover showing a doctor with a patient

The National Programme for IT in the NHS: Progress since 2006

“The scale of the challenge involved in delivering the National Programme for IT has proved to be far greater than envisaged at the start, with serious delays in delivering the new care records systems. Progress is being made, however, and financial savings and other benefits are beginning to emerge. The priority now is to finish developing and deploying care records systems that will help NHS Trusts to achieve the Programme’s intended benefits of improved services and better patient care.”

Published:
16 May 2008
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