NHS reform targets slipped, DH report reveals

A series of DH targets for implementing NHS reforms have slipped, and the NHS Commissioning Board is struggling to recruit enough staff, official reports reveal.

DH: NHS reform targets missed
DH: NHS reform targets missed

A document entitled DH Corporate Plan, Roadmap 2012/13, sets out the DH’s key milestones and priorities for transforming the health and social care system.

The report, which covers the first quarter of the financial year, between April and June 2012, revealed that a number of key targets had been delayed.

The report said plans for ‘all new organisations to confirm what functions are transferring to them’ had been delayed. Which organisations will take on around 4% of all NHS functions are ‘still to be confirmed’ the report said.

It also revealed that the DH missed a June 2012 target for completing recruitment to 'very senior manager' posts. A total of 10% of posts had not been filled, with around 50 candidates yet to be confirmed.

The NHS Commissioning Board is also at risk of failing to recruit enough staff in time for it going live in April next year, a board paper revealed.

The NHS Commissioning Board programme update paper warned: ‘There is a risk that the NHS Commissioning Board may fail to populate its organisational structure by March 2013.'

The failure to employ staff was blamed in part on trade unions challenging ‘elements of the transition process if processes are not properly agreed and implemented'.

A spokesperson for the NHS commissioning Board said: ‘There is a wealth of talented and experienced people in the NHS and fantastic opportunities for them in the NHS Commissioning Board. Setting up a new organisation is a complex task and it is inevitable there will be risk in that. The critical thing is that we recognise and manage that risk.’

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