The Department of Health has begun a public relations fight back on their NHS reforms by releasing a dossier of case studies that ministers claim show patients ‘are starting to experience improvements in quality of care’.
The dossier comes as pressure mounts on the Government over the health bill, and is accompanied by a letter sent to all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) by health secretary Andrew Lansley outlining ‘the key role they will play in the future health service.’
The DH highlights work by CCGs in Newcastle where hospital admissions for emergency respiratory problems have fallen by 70% and a Wigan CCG’s success in cutting the average hospital stay for stroke patients from 56 to 12 days.
The case studies were revealed ahead of the Prime Minister’s health bill ‘summit’ hosted at 10 Downing Street yesterday. The meeting attracted controversy after high profile health bill critics, including the RCGP and BMA, were not invited to attend.
Mr Lansley said:‘We have always been clear that patients will benefit from putting power in the hands of frontline doctors and nurses. By starting to do just that, we are seeing a positive change in the way our NHS is responding to rising pressures. Patients are being treated in more convenient places, pressure on hospitals is reducing, and we are safeguarding the NHS for future generations.’
Paul Bowen, a GP and clinical commissioning group lead in Cheshire, said:‘Putting doctors and nurses in the driving seat for the first time to commission services for patients is essential if we want to boost the quality of services for patients, but also deliver the efficiency savings needed in the NHS.’