Think tank says NHS reform 'not a local reality'

Lack of engagement, from both GPs and PCTs, means that NHS reform remains 'a national mantra rather than a local reality', according to think tank Reform.

In a report out this week, the think tank backs government policies such as patient choice and practice-based commissioning (PBC). But it warns that health outcomes had fallen well behind those of other countries, and says the NHS could not rely on increased spending to improve services.

Professor Nick Bosanquet, one of the report's authors, said that the health service ‘needs an economic constitution which gives every level of the service the duty to achieve value for money'.

The report argues that the health service still favours providers over patients.

It criticises GPs for failing to offer choice, and for using PBC budgets to pay for direct provision rather than to commission new services. It also criticises PCTs for their hostility towards alternative providers and the slow roll out of PBC.

But it also says the DoH's obsession with short-term targets has prevented PCTs from making long-term public health plans, and criticises its ‘one-size-fits-all' approach in areas such as extended hours.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

Reform report

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