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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round-up of the news in brief
NHS mull over advertising of services
The NHS has admitted it may follow the lead of independent hospital chain, Capio, and launch advertising campaigns aimed at attracting patients to use its services. Capio is currently running adverts targeted at GPs and health workers and the NHS Confederation, which represents managers in the health service, said NHS providers were likely to consider a similar course of action. An NHS Confederation spokeswoman said targeted advertising was a ìnatural response to the choice agendaî. She added: ìWe believe it is very important that there is a code for marketing and advertising NHS services that is genuinely self-regulating so that all providers can sign up - including NHS trusts, foundation trusts and independent providers.î

Ministers consider NHS borrowing scheme
Government ministers are considering giving Monitor, the NHS foundation trust regulator the power to raise private sector capital against all the hospitals, rather than leaving each trust to borrow against the limited range of assets they can currently use as security. The move has been mooted as a necessary regulatory change to make the new NHS market function. However, critics of the idea say it could allow Monitor far too intrusive powers to push trust performance, effectively `renationalising' the flagship hospitals and depriving them of their independence.

MedicX to join market
MedicX Fund, the developer of medical centres including GP surgeries, is to join the main market on completion of a £80m fundraising at 100p a share. The firm has developed more than 100 medical centres as demand for flexible, purpose-built medical facilities continues to rise. With a Department of Health survey earlier this year finding that 80 per cent of GP surgeries were too small and around 50 per cent situated in former shops and houses, MedicX is confident that demand for its centres will continue to increase.

30th September 2008

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