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Report cover showing AIDS awareness ribbon

International Development: Responding to HIV AIDS

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic has a devastating effect on the lives of poor people in developing countries. The Department for International Development has a clear commitment to respond to HIV/AIDS. The Department should put in place management systems sufficiently robust to ensure that people affected by HIV/AIDS gain the greatest possible benefit from the increasing resources allocated to the epidemic.”

18 Jun 2004
Report cover showing painting of Florence Nightingale

Improving patient care by reducing the risk of hospital acquired infection: a progress report

“The Department of Health has made important progress in raising the profile in NHS trusts of the control of hospital-acquired infection, culminating in its key publication Winning Ways. However, I am concerned that, four years on from my original report, the NHS still does not have a proper grasp of the extent and cost of hospital-acquired infection in trusts.

“The war against hospital-acquired infection must be pursued on many different fronts: ranging from tackling the factors which inhibit good practice, including a more robust approach to antibiotic prescribing and hospital hygiene, though instituting a system of mandatory surveillance, to persuading all NHS staff to take responsibility for, and contribute towards, effective infection control.”

14 Jul 2004
Cover of report showing picture of ambulances

Department of Health: Improving Emergency Care in England

“I welcome the fact that patients in accident and emergency departments are experiencing fewer delays. This is against a background of a continuing high demand for A&E services. There is scope, however, in those trusts which are behind the best for further reductions in the time patients spend in A&E.

“The Department of Health should continue to pursue more effective joint working: on the one hand, between A&E departments and other parts of their hospitals; and, on the other, between all the providers of emergency care. Emergency care networks are a promising way of taking this forward.”

13 Oct 2004
Report cover showing dentist examining a child's teeth

Reforming NHS Dentistry: ensuring effective management of risks

“The Department of Health is pursuing an ambitious programme to reform NHS dentistry. There are good reasons to modernise the system but it is vital that the Department gets it right. I have identified significant risks that will need to be carefully managed.

“In the light of concerns by dentists and the NHS, the Department’s decision to postpone the introduction of the new arrangements to October of next year is welcome. It now needs to be more transparent about its plans and its timetable for managing the change process to achieve the new date – and ensure that these are conveyed to dentists and their patients.”

25 Nov 2004
Report cover showing attendance record

Managing Attendance in the Department for Work and Pensions

“Achieving better staff attendance at the Department for Work and Pensions, the largest government department, would be an important step towards improving central government efficiency. The Department’s absence rate is high and has not yet been reduced by the introduction of a new policy. There are no easy solutions, particularly at a time when the Department is undergoing a heavy programme of change, but the Department needs to do more to ensure that the good attendance management procedures it has introduced are adopted by all staff and managers across the organisation.”

8 Dec 2004
Cover of Patient Choice report

Patient Choice at the Point of GP Referral

“Enabling patients who are referred by their GPs for hospital treatment to choose where they want to be treated promises to bring benefits to the patients themselves and to the wider NHS. Providing such choice will not be simple, however. The Department of Health must take urgent and effective action to inform and engage with GPs about the new arrangements. GPs’ support may be hard to secure and indeed choice will be hard to deliver successfully by the end of 2005 if the electronic booking system is not largely up and running by then.”

19 Jan 2005
Report cover showing doctor and boy

Darent Valley Hospital: The PFI contract in action

“My 50th PFI/PPP report continues our current strategy of reporting on how PFI projects are working out. I am pleased to be able to report on the successful delivery of the Darent Valley PFI hospital but this early PFI deal highlights that there are important issues to manage once the operational phase is under way. In particular, although refinancing may offer attractive benefits to the public sector it may also present new risks which authorities need to fully assess before agreeing to the refinancing.”

10 Feb 2005
Report cover showing patient undergoing cancer scan

Tackling Cancer: Improving the patient journey

“It is encouraging that large proportions of patients that we surveyed received the care they wanted, and that in many cases there had been a noticeable improvement on the situation in 2000. Importantly, patients were strongly positive about being shown feelings of respect and dignity.

However, there is no room for complacency – even if only 10 per cent of patients with major cancers were dissatisfied with some aspect of their care, that amounts to over 10,000 people a year. We look to the NHS to continue its drive for improvement in patient care, particularly with respect to patients in London and those with prostate cancer.”

25 Feb 2005
Report cover showing hospital sign

The NHS Cancer Plan: A Progress Report

“Substantial progress has been made in implementing the NHS Cancer Plan, with many targets in the Plan met or on course to be met. This should contribute to the downward trend in cancer mortality rates and continue to bring significant benefits to patients.”

“Cancer networks have achieved much but there is more to be done if they are all to become fully effective: including better planning, more co-ordinated commissioning of cancer services, proper resourcing, and effective co-operation between constituent organisations. As the mid-point of the Cancer Plan is approached, the time is right for the Department of Health to consider how these matters can be addressed and take appropriate action.”

11 Mar 2005
Report cover showing people working in the NHS

Department of Health – Innovation in the NHS: Local Improvement Finance Trusts

“I welcome LIFT as an attractive new way of improving primary health and social care facilities. This is an excellent example of a department doing something different and new to come up with an effective solution to an established problem. I fully support this kind of innovation and the department must carefully evaluate this initiative so that all of government, and especially Building Schools for the Future, a similar initiative, can benefit from the lessons that arise.”

19 May 2005