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Tories launch consultation on raising NHS standards

25 June 2008

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The Conservatives have published a consultation paper which contains plans to offer GPs and NHS trusts “powerful incentives” to drive up standards.

David Cameron pledged that his party would lead an “information revolution” in the NHS which would save 100,000 lives every year.

Launching the Tory green paper on health, Mr Cameron said trusts would be required to publish new information on health “outcomes”, including patient feedback concerning specific GPs and hospitals. He said it would give patients the power to make informed choices over where they go for treatment, and what care they receive.

Under the proposals, Labour’s “top-down” NHS targets, covering issues such as ward occupancy and waiting times, would be scrapped. The Conservatives say these targets create “perverse incentives” and hinder productivity within the service.

Healthcare providers would also be paid “tariffs” based on the procedures they perform. Together with greater patient choice, this would give GPs and trusts the incentive to improve standards, the Tories said.

The green paper says bringing the NHS up to average European levels would save 38,000 lives a year, and putting it on a par with the world’s best healthcare providers would save at least 100,000 lives.

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