Doctors and nurses will be given greater control over the day-to-day running of the NHS under new plans unveiled by the coalition government.
Health staff will be freed from targets that have “no clinical justification” as part of wider measures to give doctors and nurses on the floor more control of performance measures that will focus more on clinical outcomes for patients.
The “hands-off” approach from central government aims to give doctors, nurses and patients more power and responsibility over their own “public health service”, which will move away from the top-down approach of years gone by that the government says has been subjected to too much political interference.
In the Queen’s speech at Parliament, health secretary Andrew Lansley said he was willing to take “personal responsibility” for driving forward the agenda on public health.
The government also confirmed that the Cancer Drug Fund, which is designed to help patients get access to drugs recommended by their doctor, will be funded by the £200 million saved from National Insurance contributions.
The plans also make good on the newly formed government’s promise to protect health services from public spending cuts while ring-fenced health budgets will also prevent health trusts reallocating funds to pay for other services.
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.
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