Sunday, July 25, 2010

Liberating the NHS

As the Unites States moves towards a more centralized government role in healthcare, Great Britain is beginning to move in the other direction. The new coalition government has proposed some quite radical plans for the National Health Service (NHS) by shifting control of the $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to local physicians while also promising to put more power in the hands of patients.

The paper (embedded below) states:
"The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the NHS, and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians, means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management."
Some of the main points in the paper include:
  • The retention of national and regional commissioning, which will come under a new NHS Commissioning Board
  • The recognition that research is vital in order to identify new ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating disease
  • The commitment to shared decision making and the recognition that it results in a better quality of care
  • Increased patient access to information, including increased control over their records and more information on research
  • Integration of health and social care by creating a system that works more effectively across boundaries