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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round-up of NHS and healthcare stories

BMA blames government for wasted NHS money
The British Medical Association (BMA) will today call for a halt to government health policies which it says have failed to improve patient care and have cost the NHS billions of pounds. In a speech to senior hospital doctors today (Wednesday 7 June), Dr Paul Miller, chairman of the BMA's consultants' committee, will criticise the government for wasting NHS money on ìexpensive private finance deals, independent sector treatment centres and needless management consultantsî. He will argue that NHS deficits are not only the fault of poorly-designed policies and political interference, but mostly due to ìbad policies and shocking incompetence inflicted on the whole service from the top, from Whitehallî.

GPs could be graded for care offering
The Royal College of GPs is in discussions with ministers over a scheme that would give doctors Michelin-style ratings to show the quality of care they offer. In the voluntary scheme, which could begin next April, surgeries would be inspected by doctors, nurses and patients every three years and given a grade from one to three, based on basic standards such as opening times. ì[The scheme] will give patients reassurance that the GPs they are using meet the necessary requirements,î said Dr Mayur Lakhani, chairman of the Royal College of GPs. Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, said he would be willing to discuss the proposals, but added that he doubted they would add any more to the information already available.

Trusts performing well
NHS foundation trusts recorded an aggregate deficit of £8m for 2005-6, representing an impressive 0.1 per cent of £6.8bn total income, according to new data from independent trust regulator, Monitor. After exceptional items, the NHS foundation trust sector incurred a deficit of £24m for 2005/6, marginally behind the £20m full-year deficit forecast at the beginning of the financial year. Monitor said it attributed the strong performance of the sector to the ìrigours of NHS foundations trust statusî.

30th September 2008

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