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Progress in improving the medical assessment of incapacity and disability benefits

“I am pleased that the measures taken since my last report have resulted in significant improvements, especially as this means a better service for customers, who include some of the most vulnerable members of society. It is crucial that assessments are undertaken fairly and efficiently, while ensuring that benefits are paid only to those genuinely entitled to them. I look to the Department to do more to improve the quality of evidence on which decisions are based and to tackle the problem of people failing to attend examinations.”

Published:
17 Oct 2003

Achieving Improvements through Clinical Governance: A Progress Report on Implementation by NHS Trusts

A major initiative to secure better quality care by the NHS and improve patients’ confidence in its services has made early progress and is already delivering benefits. However, according to a report by the National Audit Office, progress in implementing ‘clinical governance’ is patchy, varying between and within NHS trusts and between the components of … Read more

Report cover showing patient care

Achieving Improvements through Clinical Governance: A Progress Report on Implementation by NHS Trusts

“Trusts have made good progress in the early stages of implementing the clinical governance programme. It is important, however, that they maintain the momentum that has been built up and overcome barriers in order to ensure that the National Health Service derives the intended benefits and, crucially, that patients see a clear improvement in their treatment and the quality of their healthcare.”

Published:
17 Sep 2003

Hip Replacements: an Update

NHS patients receiving hip replacements have received an improved service over the last three years, according to a report today from the National Audit Office. But it will take time for developments to take full effect and more remains to be done to ensure improved quality of care to patients. This includes making sure that … Read more

Report cover showing walking sticks

Hip Replacements: an Update

“Since my last report on hip replacements three years ago, the NHS has improved its procedures thereby providing better quality of care for patients. There is still further progress to be made, however, including the spreading of good practice, to ensure that the service provided by the NHS is as good as possible.

“Hip replacement is one of the most common and effective major surgical procedures. But there are some question marks over how hospitals are managing the process, not least to ensure that the replacement hip used has a satisfactory track record. Strong leadership within hospitals is the key to ensuring that these risks are managed effectively for the benefit of patients.”

Published:
17 Jul 2003

A Safer Place to Work: Improving the management of health and safety risks to staff in NHS trusts

Head of the National Audit Office Sir John Bourn reported to Parliament today that, while there have been real improvements in the management of health and safety risks to staff in NHS trusts, progress overall is patchy. The number of reported accidents is increasing, the gap between the best and worst performing trusts is widening … Read more

Report cover image showing leaflets promoting health and safety and an incident report form

A Safer Place to Work: Improving the management of health and safety risks to staff in NHS trusts

More needs to be done to reduce the number of staff accidents in NHS trusts. Good progress has been made through the initiatives such as the Back in Work campaign but too many trusts are still not implementing good practice and there are wide variations in terms of access to counselling and other support to get staff back to work more quickly. At a time when it is crucial to recruit and retain staff, the NHS must show that the health and safety of its staff is a top priority.”

Published:
30 Apr 2003
Report cover showing syringes

Procurement of Vaccines by the Department of Health

“On the basis of investigation into the first procurement of smallpox vaccine by the Department of Health, we found no link between the personal donations to the Labour Party by the Chief Executive of PowderJect and the award to his company of the contract to supply the vaccine.

“However, even where national security dictates that the Department of Health cannot follow normal procurement procedures, the Department must still be as transparent as possible. There must be robust protocols for the special procurement procedures which are to be followed so that the Department can demonstrate that it has acted properly and fairly.

“Regarding shortages in the supply of vaccines, the public health consequences may be very serious indeed. The Department faces a challenge in ensuring vaccine supplies where the number of suppliers is diminishing and some suppliers enjoy a near monopoly, resulting sometimes in increased prices. The Department should define its long-term strategy for ensuring adequate vaccine supplies as a complement to its short-term handling arrangements to deal with vaccine shortages.”

Published:
9 Apr 2003

Procurement of Vaccines by the Department of Health

Head of the National Audit Office Sir John Bourn today reported to Parliament on the propriety of the Department of Health’s award of a contract to PowderJect Pharmaceuticals to supply smallpox vaccine. The report also covers the procedures followed by the Department in purchasing emergency supplies of smallpox and anthrax vaccine; and the Department’s general … Read more