The Department of Health has set out a series of targets aimed at improving its performance and efficiency to ensure patients benefit directly from the extra £21bn allocated to health following last year’s comprehensive spending review.
There are 14 detailed policy targets and eight targets on productivity and efficiency set to be achieved over the next three years.
Targets include quicker access to specialist advice if a GP suspects a patient may have cancer; more GPs and practice nurses at local GP surgeries; and more stable care for children looked after by local authorities.
The team to lead the External Reference Group to advise Government on standards of NHS care for older people has been named by Frank Dobson.
They are Professor Ian Philp; Marjorie Coote, professor of health care for elderly people, University of Sheffield; and Denise Platt, chief inspector of the social services inspectorate.
The group will help set national standards and define service models; put in place programmes to support implementation; and establish performance indicators.
Dobson said the remit was ambitious, but timely, as 1998-1999 is the UN International Year for the Older Person.