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Handling Clinical Negligence Claims in England

The enormous human and financial costs of clinical negligence are highlighted today in a National Audit Office report. The estimated net present value of claims outstanding against the NHS alleging clinical negligence has risen to £2.6 billion, plus an estimated liability of a further £1.3 billion where negligent episodes are likely to have occurred, but … Read more

Report cover showing a doctor talking to an elderly patient

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

“This has been an innovative project for the Department of Social Security, involving the outsourcing of a service which is close to the department’s core business. The Benefits Agency medical service was underachieving and operated within tight resource constraints. Outsourcing has cut costs and speeded up the processing of the work, but the Department, with SEMA Group, must concentrate on improving the quality of assessments and customer service.

“Bottlenecks and delays throughout the system for paying these benefits also need to be addressed. The aim should be to ensure that disability benefits are speedily paid to those entitled to them, as well as reducing losses to the public purse from payments to those who are no longer eligible for benefit.”

Published:
9 Mar 2001

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

In a report to Parliament today, head of the NAO Sir John Bourn recognised that the outsourcing of the Department of Social Security’s medical assessment service had reduced costs and speeded up the turnaround of work. But the standard of medical assessments and the quality of service to benefit customers need to improve. The service … Read more

Report cover showing doctors training staff on a dummy

Educating and Training the Future Health Professional Workforce for England

“Educating and training increased numbers of nursing, midwifery and other health professional students is a key way of overcoming the shortage of such staff in the NHS. The NHS and higher education institutions must continue working together to improve value for money, to ensure more students complete courses, to reduce the constraints on providing practical experience, and to invest in new capacity where needed. Healthcare professionals provide much of the service that patients need and expect, and a cost effective world class education and training system must be the foundation for delivering this.”

Sir Andrew Foster, the Controller of the Audit Commission, said today:

“Healthcare staff are the lifeblood of the NHS. Developing their skills and abilities is vital both to the quality of patient care and the modernisation of the NHS. We need to actively manage and plan for the training of our nurses, therapists and other staff. Everyone, from front-line staff to trust board members, must show commitment to a culture which values and expects training and learning.”

The Audit Commission’s Hidden Talents report focuses on the existing healthcare workforce and looks at how trusts can get the best value from their training and development activities. The National Audit Office’s report to Parliament, Educating and Training the Future Health Professional Workforce for England, reviews the effectiveness of arrangements between the NHS and higher education institutions for educating and training pre-registration health professional students.

The detailed findings of the two reports are set out in the attached annexes.

Published:
1 Mar 2001

Educating and Training the Future Health Professional Workforce for England

The Audit Commission and the National Audit Office today published the results of their comprehensive joint review of education and training for existing and trainee nurses, midwives and other healthcare staff. Getting the development of these staff right is fundamental to meeting patients’ needs, improving services, reducing risks and modernising the NHS. The reports make … Read more

Report cover showing a drawing of Falstaff

Tackling Obesity in England

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, told Parliament today that the prevalence of obesity in England had tripled over the last 20 years and continues to rise. Most adults in England are now overweight, and one in five is obese. Producing the first authoritative estimates of the costs and consequences of obesity … Read more

Published:
15 Feb 2001

Tackling Obesity in England

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, told Parliament today that the prevalence of obesity in England had tripled over the last 20 years and continues to rise. Most adults in England are now overweight, and one in five is obese. Producing the first authoritative estimates of the costs and consequences of obesity … Read more

Report cover showing a doctor with a container of blood

The National Blood Service

“The availability of blood is essential to the NHS and many people owe their lives to transfusions that were made possible by voluntary donations of blood. The National Blood Service has had to change the blood service from a regional to a national one, cope with the emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and, at the same time, maintain supplies to hospitals of sufficient safe blood.

This process of change has been accompanied by some controversy and appeared to lose momentum at one stage. But the indications are that the Service has made good progress towards providing an effective national service.”

Published:
20 Dec 2000

The National Blood Service

Effective measures are now in place to ensure that blood is safe for transfusions. That is one of the main findings in a National Audit Office report into the National Blood Service. The report also concludes that, despite the long time taken by the Service since its creation in 1993 to make the transition from … Read more

Public Health Laboratory Service Board Accounts 1998-99

“The Board have assured me of the importance they place on effective internal financial controls, and they are confident that these controls have now been restored. I remain concerned, however, that these problems arose.

The lesson for other public bodies from the Board’s experiences is that, when letting and managing such a contract, potential risks need to be identified, evaluated, mitigated and managed so that the fundamental responsibilities of the Board and its Accounting Officer for the proper management of its resources can continue to be discharged.”

Published:
15 Sep 2000