Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Has Improved, Finds King's Fund Audit

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Has Improved, Finds King's Fund Audit

Article excerpt

An independent audit of NHS progress under Labour has put into perspective emotive headlines about the health service, the NHS Confederation said this week.

On March 20, the King's Fund published the findings of its assessment of Labours health policies and outcomes since 1997 following weeks of adverse publicity for the NHS.

It said the government had made huge strides in reforming the health service but there were important problems to be solved and as yet there was no firm evidence to show the reforms had produced a marked improvement in the nations health.

Confederation chief executive Gill Morgan said progress had been made but work remained to be done.

The King's Fund audit is a useful reminder that highly emotive headlines about the NUS need to be placed in perspective. For example, there were 66,203 cancelled operations in 2003/04 and yet that represents just 0.01% of all the completed episodes of care that required an operation during the year.'

She added: 'Another notable example is the often repeated claim that extra investment in the NHS is being squandered on 'pen-pushers', 'bureaucrats' or 'paper shufflers'.

'In fact, workforce statistics published by the Department of Health this week show that less than 3% of NHS staff in England are managers or senior managers. …

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