24/03/2011

Patients Getting Improved NHS Care

A round-up of NHS quality and financial performance between October and December 2010 has been published by the Department of Health today. The report shows that the NHS is continuing to provide improvements in the quality of patient care and robust financial management while preparing to transition to a health service more focused on improving patient outcomes.

The report shows that the NHS has improved its quality of service in nine areas, including:
  • A continuing reduction in the rates of hospital acquired infections
  • Better performance on quickly seeing and treating patients who have mini-strokes
  • Increased access to dentistry for adults
  • Improvement in breast and bowel cancer screening rates
The NHS has also ensured that patients continue to receive timely access to care. Waiting times over this period remained broadly stable and patients continued to receive NHS treatment quickly following a referral, including for cancer treatment.

The report also highlights areas where the NHS needs to focus its efforts to deliver further improvements, including uptake of HPV vaccine among girls aged 12-13 and making sure that the NHS continues to focus on reducing unnecessary delays in A and E.

The report also provides the latest update on NHS finances, showing that the NHS is currently forecasting a surplus of £1.4bn at the end of the financial year. This will provide a strong foundation for the NHS as it modernises to cope with the pressures of an ageing population and rising costs. For those individual NHS organisations in a weaker financial position, the report sends a strong message that this needs to improve.

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: “This report shows how the NHS is continuing to deliver for patients, including the access to care they want. But we know that the NHS faces the pressures of an ageing population and rising costs of complex technology and medicines. Our plans for the NHS are simple - we will build on this and safeguard the NHS for the future. By keeping politics out of the NHS and freeing NHS staff to focus on outcomes for their patients, we will enable continuous improvement in the NHS.”

(BMcN/GK)

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