Charity calls for radical changes to be made to the UK’s hospitals

Tags: health, changes, quality, published, decision, making, process, hospitals, debate, social

Jenny Greenwell Published 07 September 2011

The King’s Fund has called for radical changes to be made to the administrative and decision-making process in hospitals.

As MP's prepare to debate again on the controversial Health and Social Care Bill, the UK health charity has issued a new briefing paper calling for a re-organisation of hospital services. The aim of the re-organising will be to improve both the quality and safety of patient care, and prevent politicians from restricting desperately needed changes.

The changes proposed by the paper, which was released yesterday, suggest that decisions in hospitals are made on the grounds of quality, safety and value for money. It also calls for a de-politicisation of the NHS, and argues that even with strong evidence for the need for change, many MPS and councillors continue to resist any re-structuring.

The recommendations include minimum quality standards based on clinical evidence, better communication with the public from health service, and a clarification of the roles of various bodies involved.

"Changes to the way hospital services are organised in some parts of the country are now a necessity, not an option, if the NHS is to deliver safe, high quality care...I hope the proposals we have published today spark a debate about how to improve the current decision-making process and provide some practical recommendations for the way forward," said Candace Imison, Deputy Director of Policy at The King's Fund, and the author of the paper.

In last month's issue of CharityInsight, Claire Mundle, policy officer at the King's Fund, discussed how the NHS reforms will affect health charities, particularly smaller ones. 'There is a danger that, given their smaller size and lower visibility, they will not be given enough consideration by the individuals deciding what the future health and social care landscapes look like," she wrote.

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