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Clinical areas 'missed by Government health policy'

By Lilian Anekwe

An NHS review has identified a raft of clinical areas that have been overlooked by current Government health policy.

The National Quality Board, led by former NHS chief executive Sir Bruce Keogh, advises ministers on which clinical areas to target as ‘quality improvement priorities' for the NHS and will have a key role in formulating health policy, including future NHS Operating Frameworks and NICE quality standards.

An initial analysis by the NQB's prioritisation committee has highlighted a series of areas in primary care ‘for which evidence has been identified that suggests that quality could be significantly improved' – but which have been largely ignored in recent health policy documents.

The report singled out several areas where funding has been long neglected including back pain, epilepsy, osteoarthritis, contraceptive services, osteoporosis and allergy, and identified other areas which appear to have been given unwarranted priority despite having a relatively small impact on public health, such as anxiety disorders, dementias other than Alzheimer's, cervical cancer and chlamydia.

The exercise is designed to ‘identify and advise ministers where there is greatest scope and potential to improve healthcare quality', the document said.

The report concluded: ‘The key strength is that for the first time it brings together a firmer broad based set of evidence across several criteria, with enhanced focus on quality improvement.'

An NHS review has identified a raft of clinical areas that have been overlooked by current Government health policy An NHS review has identified a raft of clinical areas that have been overlooked by current Government health policy

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