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Tories promise to rid nurses of waiting time targets

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The Conservative Party have pledged to scrap ‘top down’ waiting time targets for the NHS and focus on patient outcomes and survival rates instead.

Outlining an NHS policy green paper last week, Tory leader David Cameron said nurses and doctors would be freed from a ‘tick boxes’ approach in order to help them focus on boosting patient survival rates.

‘By scrapping Labour’s bureaucratic, top-down process targets and replacing them with outcome measures, the professions can focus on the result itself, not how it is achieved,’ he said at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. ‘We’ll measure how well patients are after treatment, instead of timing how long someone's in an A&E bed.’

The Conservatives said that they would cut targets which can create ‘perverse incentives that hinder productivity’. They highlighted research by the RCN which shows that the four hour A&E waiting time target has led to patients being inappropriately admitted to hospital.

According to the Conservatives, raising NHS standards to the European average would save around 38,000 lives every year, but their ‘ambition’ is to lift performance to match the best systems in the world, which would save at least 100,000.

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