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New outcomes framework slammed by cancer charity

A leading cancer charity has slammed NICE's proposed clinical indicators for the eventual Commissioning Outcomes Framework for CCGs, for omitting key cancer survival indicators.

NICE recommends the quality premium for GP practices should be tied to mortality for cancer and respiratory disease and patient experience of GP out-of-hours services.

The list of targets in eight areas that  CCGs are likely to be assessed on also includes reducing the number of people with dementia on antipsychotics, emergency admissions for conditions that do not normally require hospital admission and the proportion of patients ‘feeling supported to manage their own condition'.

NICE's recommendations for the clinical indicators- published last week - will form part of the bigger Commissioning Outcomes Framework which is still being developed by the NHS Commissioning Board.

Ciarán Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said:

'We are shocked it has been recommended that the NHS Commissioning Outcomes Framework – which will be used to hold the newly reformed NHS to account – will not include key cancer survival indicators. This means commissioners will lack strong incentives to improve cancer survival rates.

'If the NHS wants to fulfil its ambition of saving 5,000 additional lives from cancer by 2014/15, then key cancer survival indicators must be included in the framework.'

A statement from NICE says: ‘The framework will allow the NHS Commissioning Board to identify the contribution of CCGs to achieving the priorities for health improvement in the NHS Outcomes Framework, while also being accountable to patients and local communities.'

The framework was given a guarded welcome by commissioners.

Dr Michael Dixon, interim president of NHS Clinical Commissioners said: 'Improving outcomes is not just about the inputs outlined in this framework. It is about looking in the round to consider what is the best action – from public health right through to community services – to improve the health of local communities.

'We cannot stress enough how important it is that CCGs are given the time and space to develop bold and innovative ways of improving the quality of care that patients receive and the health of their local populations.'

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