Andrew Lansley will tell the health service today it must improve patient outcomes under tough new goals for hospitals.
In a speech at a central London hospital he will call on the NHS to focus on what matters most to patients.
The government is producing 60 indicators relating to how patients fare during and following treatment.
The NHS Outcomes Framework includes a focus on improving cancer survival and a zero tolerance approach to hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.
The framework will ensure patients are treated with dignity and respect by measuring the “responsiveness” of staff to patient needs when staying in hospital.
It is also designed to improve women’s and families’ experiences of maternity services, increase the number of people who can access an NHS dentist and help older people recover independence after illness.
There will also be an indicator looking at carers who look after sick and older relatives and friends.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph Mr Lansley said: “We have to clear the decks and be clear this is what we are focusing on.
“People say in three and a half years’ time, in 2015, at the next election, how will we know whether you’ve succeeded or not? The answer is: ‘Have the outcomes improved?’
“It will be my failure if we haven’t improved them, and the NHS should feel that it has not succeeded. that is what we are setting out to do.”
The aim of the plan is also to move away from a focus on targets, such as those for waiting times introduced under Labour.
However, patients will still have the right to prompt treatment within 18 weeks of referral by their GP as set out in the NHS Constitution.
Mr Lansley hopes the framework will also provide reassurance to parliamentarians about the accountability of the health secretary for the NHS.
Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said it was “vital” the benchmarks did not turn into additional targets that placed “further pressure on an already stretched NHS workforce”.
He said: “There is clear evidence that the quality of care and patient safety is improved when you have the right numbers and skills in place on wards. A benchmark on safe staffing levels would only be beneficial in achieving improved patient outcomes.
“Recent international examples have shown that the NHS is performing well compared to other countries and this is a result of staff working extremely hard. What we want to see now is the government building on these strengths in these difficult economic times.”
List of 60 new indicators of NHS performance:
1. Numbers of extra years that, on average, a person could have lived if given access to timely and effective health care.
2-3. Life expectancy at 75, for men and women.
4-7. Mortality rates in under-75s from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, liver disease and cancer.
8-13. One and five-year survival rates for colorectal (bowel), breast and lung cancer.
14. Mortality rate in under-75s, above the normal, in adults with serious mental illness.
15-17. Rates of infant mortality, neonatal mortality and stillbirths.
18. Mortality rate in under-75s, above the normal, in adults with learning disabilities.
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PEOPLE WITH LONG-TERM CONDITIONS
19. Health-related quality of life for people with long-term conditions.
20. Proportion of people feeling supported to manage their condition.
21. Employment of people with long-term conditions.
22-26. Unplanned hospital admissions in adults with conditions like asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
27-29. Unplanned hospitalisation for asthma, diabetes and epilepsy in under-19s.
30. The health-related quality of life for carers.
31. Employment of people with mental illness.
32. Quality of life for people with dementia.
HELPING PEOPLE RECOVER AFTER ILL HEALTH OR INJURY
33. Emergency hospital admissions for acute conditions (ie, injury or sudden onset of ill health) that should not usually require hospital admission.
34. Emergency readmissions to hospital within 30 days of discharge.
35-37. Health improvements following pre-planned operations for hip and knee replacements, groin hernia, and varicose veins.
38. Numbers of children who have to be admitted to hospital due to very bad chest (lower respiratory tract) infections.
39. Degree of recovery from injuries and trauma.
40 Degree of recovery six months after a stroke.
41. Degree of recovery after brittle-bone fractures, namely the proportion recovering previous levels of mobility after 30 days and 120 days.
42. Proportion of over-65s still at home 91 days after being discharged.
43. Proportion of over-65s offered rehabilitation after discharge from general or community hospital.
44. Patient experience of GP services; GP out-of-hours services; NHS dental services; hospital care (overarching indicators).
45. Patient experience of outpatient services.
46. How well hospitals respond to in-patients’ personal needs (ie, basic care such as help with eating and going to the toilet).
47. Patient experience of A&E.
48. Ease of access to GP services and NHS dental services.
49. Women’s experience of maternity services.
50. A measure of the experience of end-of-life care (by asking bereaved carers).
51. Patient experience of community mental health services.
52. Children’s/young people’s experience of health care.
TREATING PEOPLE SAFELY
53. Reported patient safety incidents.
54. Safety incidents involving severe harm or death.
55. Incidence of hospital-related venous thromboembolism (VTE), a type of serious blood clot.
56. Incidence of health care-associated MRSA and Clostridium difficile infection.
57. Incidence of serious pressure ulcers, often acquired due to staying in hospital beds and not being moved often enough.
58. Incidence of medication errors causing serious harm.
59. Admission of full-term babies to neonatal care.
60. Incidence of harm to children due to “failure to monitor” their condition.