The government has used the Queen’s Speech to outline its vision of an NHS free from political interference.
It said the creation of a new “public health service” in which doctors and patients are give more power was its main aim.
Targets with “no clinical justification” will be scrapped under the plans, with a new focus on patient outcomes introduced.
The new Cancer Drug Fund will begin in April 2011, the government added, although no further details on the scheme were released.
People will be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own health, and funding will be protected through ring-fenced budgets.
GPs will also be given incentives to focus on improving people’s health through preventive measures, while NHS organisations will be paid according to how well they do on outcomes.
On social care, an independent commission to examine options for providing long-term care for the elderly and those in need will be established in the coming weeks and months. It will report next year.
Other steps include measures to help people to continue living in their own homes, personal budgets for those with long-term conditions, and support for carers.
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“What is needed is a level playing field for all, equality of opportunity and a system of performance measurement which is ‘real’ and not ‘nominal’, ie, performance per unit of resources available to performers. Objectives ought to be quantified taking into account all relevant factors, equally rewards must be determined through a process of qualitative as well as quantitative significance. Finally, power politics within NHS ought to be consciously eradicated, power politics of key decision makers, they ought to be open to challeges and scrutiny, transparantly for their decisions or decision making frameworks, in relation to resource allocations or investment decisions, or capacity assessments, these ought to be transparant too. meritocracy, commitment to quality and quantity and therefore value for money based upon real measurable outcomes, leading to real level playing field” – M Rafiq, London
“Not all people are able to take responsibility for their own health – there are many vulnerable chidlren, young people and adults who are challenged by this expectation. I hope the ring-fenced monies will be directed towards these groups. If NHS organisations are going to be paid by outcomes it will be essential to have the right outcomes used as measures and in the right way or the inequalities agenda will be lost. Funding care for children and young people with long-term conditions living and growing up in the community is an aspect of care that requires cross-agency co-ordination and clear funding arrangements with the development of new ways of working and providing services. I hope that any power given to doctors and patients is set alongside responsibilities and an understanding of what can realistically be provided – wish lists are not helpful to any of us” – Pauline Lambert, Brighton and Hove
“So far so good, I am excited that the NHS will be free from political interference, I would like to see it taken out of the political arena altogether. Is the NHS to be rebranded? If so it should be re named The Public Health Service because it is not a NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE, services depend on where you live, and how well the PCT manages its finances. All patients irrespective of where they live should have access to the latest and best cancer treatment and medication. I am pleased to see that non-clinical targets will be scrapped. I would like to see the IT clinical application for QOF retained, it enables us to pick up patients who have not had health checks, blood tests etc” – Anna Richardson, Essex
“I think that it is ethically and morally right to provide people with the means to make choices and decisions about their lives. in the last 10-15 years we have seen the demise of health promotion and prevention. We need to work to empower our communities, our people to help themselves to make the right choice and to feel good and positive about it. This is what I want to do and be involved in. A research project, Prevention of Falls in the over 65 year olds, I was involved in identified that the small interventions made a big difference to the quality of older people’s lives” – Shama Sharif, Birmingham