As we wait to see what shape the new NHS will take in the forthcoming reform bill today, Andrew Lansley has just addressed the BMA’s Annual Representatives Meeting in Brighton. A full transcript can be read here but here are the highlights:
Measuring outcomes and setting quality standards: The current system will be “dismantled” and standards will be set for 150 different areas of care over the next five years to take us away from traditional targets. Mr Lansley said: “For too long the focus has been on measuring inputs and processes that are remote to patients”. Sounds promising…
GP commissioning: A major transference of responsibility to the GP community is on its way (a big [and not unpredictable] hint as to the contents of the reform bill perhaps?) GPs want it and “they are the most logical groups to coordinate healthcare”. The Government will consult with the BMA on how this is planned and rolled out.
Improvements in information utilisation/provision: This essentially looks at better collecting, analysing and providing available data to improve the delivery of care. This is less focused on clinical trial information but more on real-life patient registries and audit data. First off though this needs to be collected and someone has to be motivated to do it.
Driving efficiencies to make the best use of the NHS budget: Whilst the NHS budget was protected in the recent ‘austerity’ budget, streamlining and efficiency measures must be implemented to ensure finding is available to deliver on all the priorities detailed above.
Although very top-line at the moment (more details are in the actual speech), these are extremely interesting times. I predict the seismic shifts we are about to witness will change the landscape of our NHS forever.