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NHS targets 'scaled back' to cut costs

Key UK National Health Service targets are to be 'scaled back' or abolished in a bid to reduce bureaucracy and management costs

Administrative spending in the National Health Service (NHS) will be cut, UK Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley has announced in a written statement issued to members of parliament (MPs) about the NHS Operating Framework 2010/11.

Targets to be cut include the guarantee to see a GP within 48 hours and hospitals will no longer have to meet 18-week waiting targets. The four-hour Accident & Emergency (A&E) target is to be abolished next year, and in the interim will be eased.

The overall ceiling for management costs in Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) will now be set at £1,006m, which represents two thirds of the 2008/09 management costs (£1,509m). According to Lansley's statement, in aggregate PCTs and SHAs will need to save at least £222m in 2010/11 and a further £350m by the end of 2011/12.

As reported by the BBC, Mr Lansley said: "I want to free the NHS from bureaucracy and targets that have no clinical justification and move to an NHS which measures its performance on patient outcomes.

"Doctors will be free to focus on the outcomes that matter - providing quality patient care."

21st June 2010

From: Healthcare

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