DH maps NHS variation in care

The DH has published an updated version of its NHS Atlas of Variation, which shows that large variations in PCT spending on services and quality of care persist across England.

Lord Howe: 'The Atlas will help commissioners to identify unjustified variations and drive up standards so patients are receiving consistently high quality care.'
Lord Howe: 'The Atlas will help commissioners to identify unjustified variations and drive up standards so patients are receiving consistently high quality care.'

The tool, a pack of 71 maps showing spending on clinical services and the outcomes for each PCT in England, updates the original Atlas project launched last year.

Charities said the Atlas showed that there remained 'unacceptable' variation in care in the NHS.

The government said the scheme would help commissioners improve quality and equity of care.

The updated version shows a 25-fold variation in prescribing rates for anti-dementia drugs and a 3.8-fold variation in the number of people having lower limb amputation, among other findings.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: 'It is appalling that even after seeing similar results in last year’s report, people with diabetes are still not receiving the basic level of care they need. This must change.'

Health minister Lord Howe said: 'The Atlas of Variation lets us look at how the local NHS is meeting the clinical needs of their local population. This will help commissioners to identify unjustified variations and drive up standards so patients are receiving consistently high quality care throughout the NHS.'

Click here to view the NHS Atlas of Variation

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