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Health Service Journal
1998-11-19

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  • All tangled on the web

    information management
  • CHCs raise fear over trusts' shift to 'managing' their property

    Community health councils are planning to seek legal advice about moves by trusts to change their legal powers over NHS premises.
  • City limits

    In the first of an occasional series on the development of primary care groups in the north London boroughs of Enfield and Haringey, Kaye McIntosh reports that settling the size of units in this diverse catchment area has not been easy
  • Compensation offers follow misconduct case

    South Kent Hospitals trust has started making compensation offers to women allegedly harmed by treatment by gynaecologist Rodney Ledward.
  • Complaint procedure 'not seen as impartial'

    NHS complaints procedures are 'not seen as impartial' and 'haphazard training' leaves some review panel convenors to 'make up the rules as they go along', a Commons select committee heard last week.
  • Derbyshire Ambulance Service

    Derbyshire Ambulance Service claims to have improved its response performance after its nine-month trial of a mobile computing system. The Medical Priority Dispatch system prioritises deployment of ambulances according to the severity of incidents. Crews carry a 'ruggedised', Pentium- based PC called Databrick, supplied by Datalux, which allows them to record patient data on the move and transmit it ahead by radio to the hospital accident and emergency system.
  • DoH shake-up sees HR chiefs start work as deputy CMO says goodbye

    Details of a shake-up among some of the most senior officials at the Department of Health have emerged this week.
  • Events

    Items are entered free for public sector, voluntary and professional organisations, but we need at least six weeks' notice of your event. Please send details to Uli Jaeger, HSJ, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7EJ. Fax: 0171-874 0254.
  • Fiddlers don't call the tune True or not, claims of data manipulation harm public regard for the NHS

    The air has been thick for the past week with politicians firing accusations at each other about 'fiddling' the waiting list statistics. Whatever the truth in this particular instance, the episode holds salutary lessons for NHS managers. Experience in the early 1990s suggests that the disciplines of tight performance management can have a corrupting influence on corporate culture to the point where providing the right answer becomes more important than the truth. Managers are currently subjec
  • Fiddlesticks or fact?

    Is there any substance to opposition claims that waiting lists are being 'fiddled' by the use of subsidiary lists? Laura Donnelly examines this and other accusations of manipulating waiting-list statistics
  • Good verdict for citizens' juries

    Citizens' juries can make the NHS more accountable for the way it makes decisions but are vulnerable to charges of 'window dressing', King's Fund reports have concluded.
  • Government 'neglecting' PCG computer funding

    The Royal Hospital Haslar in Portsmouth has established a telemedicine link to Bosnia, allowing consultants to give guidance on emergency care to a military field hospital. Photographs of trauma cases taken with an Olympus C-1400L digital camera are sent as e-mail, via satellite to England. Set up by doctors from the Defence Medical Services telemedicine team, the project has been awarded a British Computer Society innovation medal.
  • 'In many ways we are still trying to find our feet'

    Working in health promotion has given Trevor Lakey some of his biggest highs - but also some of his most devastating lows, 'particularly in terms of the battles you sometimes have to fight to achieve things', he says.
  • In tune with the times

    With health promotion high on the national agenda specialists find themselves in a positive stategic environment although much will depends on creative resource allocation. Barbara Millar looks at their expanding role
  • In tune with the times

    Name: Trevor Lakey
  • It's not the number of computers, but how they are used that counts

    letters
  • Labour's NHS reforms put before Parliament

    Legislation to implement the government's primary care and quality reforms is expected to be announced in the Queen's speech next week.
  • Longer waits at three in four A&E departments compared to 1996

    Waiting times have risen in nearly three-quarters of England's accident and emergency departments, according to a survey by the Audit Commission.
  • Managers call on GMC for stronger guidance

    Managers are calling for stronger guidance from the General Medical Council on the ethical duties of doctors who work as managers.
  • Manager's merger lawsuit raises 'wider issues'

    The First Division Association has raised concerns about the treatment of managers involved in trust mergers after taking legal action on behalf of a former Welsh ambulance trust officer.
  • Milburn puts up £226m for PCGs

    Health minister Alan Milburn has given primary care groups a £226m cash boost.
  • Minister stands by primary care trusts timetable despite GP fears

    There will be no brakes on the momentum towards creating a first wave of primary care trusts by April 2000, despite GP warnings that the timetable is too tight, health minister Alan Milburn told MPs last week.
  • monitor

    More this week on secret plans for PCGs (that's the patient consultative groups revealed here last week). As you will recall, all patients are to be grouped into PCGs of roughly 500 people each. Our secret source reveals that practice budgets will be devolved to each PCG, whose duties will include creating a PCG plan, determining practice priorities and developing 'a separate corporate identity and logo for each patient consultative group'. And just to demonstrate that ministers listen, the d
  • New business case thresholds for IT projects

    The NHS Executive has announced new business case thresholds for IT project procurements, as promised in the Information for Health IT strategy published in September.
  • New buyer for Oxford centre

    The Oxford Consortium - the former Anglia and Oxford region computer centre, sold to Computer Sciences Corporation in 1995 - has once again changed hands. It has been bought by the Welsh company Hyder.
  • NICE chair's act - centre stage or just a sideshow? Is Professor Rawlins the man to lead the drive for clinical excellence?

    comment
  • No disciplinary action for consultant who provided 'inappropriate care'

    Patients treated by a Scottish medical director suspended in July received 'inappropriate' and 'sub optimal care', an independent inquiry reported this week.
  • Onus points

    clinical governance
  • PFI mortgages the future of the NHS, and professionalism is at risk when profit drives the system

    David Stelmach (Letters, 15 October) feels it is not the role of the Society of Radiographers to influence trusts in their choice of cost- efficient ways to acquire high technology.
  • Quality control

    Five years after the Internet entered public consciousness, the NHS is taking action to guide patients to use it wisely. Part of the NHS information strategy is a project to accredit information.
  • 'Record' £2.2bn capital deal has strings

    The government has announced that it will be investing 'a record' £2.2bn in hospital buildings and equipment next year.
  • Shift workers

    clinical governance
  • Short cuts Central Scotland 'over-payment' inquiry reports

    An independent inquiry into allegations of over-payments to senior managers at Central Scotland Healthcare trust is due to hand its findings to the trust board and the procurator fiscal. Trust chief executive Derek Pollacchi has been suspended on full pay since July, when internal auditors highlighted 'areas of concern'.
  • Short cuts Durham trust launches learning disabilities charter

    Durham County Priority Services trust has launched a charter for patients and carers using its learning disabilities services. The charter, launched by the Bishop of Durham, sets out rights and standards that can be expected.
  • Short cuts 'Institutional barriers' undermine partnerships

    Partnerships between the NHS and local authorities are frequently undermined by 'institutional barriers and insensitive management', according to a report from Manchester Business School, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council's management innovation programme. It says managers and politicians need to 'move towards a more democratic form of government', set clear goals and develop incentives for collaboration to achieve change.
  • Short cuts Move to deregister 'failing' consultants delayed

    The General Medical Council has delayed a decision on setting up a scheme to remove consultants who fail regular competency tests from the specialist register. But the GMC is to press on with plans to make all doctors demonstrate that they are keeping themselves up to date and are still fit to practise.
  • Short cuts NHS acts to defuse GP telephone advice fees row

    The NHS Executive has issued guidance to resolve a row with GPs over payment for telephone advice. Health authorities were told not to pay for telephone consultations in February, prompting anger among GPs in areas with large numbers of temporary residents. The new guidance says fees should be paid and GPs compensated if they lost more than £50 per quarter. Further guidance on compensation will be issued.
  • Short cuts Solihull's public health director is joint appointment

    Solihull health authority and Solihull metropolitan borough council have appointed a joint director of public health. Andrew Richardson, previously director of commissioning/consultant in public health medicine with Worcestershire HA, has taken up the post, thought to be the first joint appointment of its kind in the country. HA chief executive Nigel Webb said the step was taken to 'go the extra step' in building relationships between the two organisations, which are 'already strong.'
  • Short cuts Welsh waiting list figures show 'downward trend'

    Figures released by the Government Statistical Service show that the number of Welsh residents waiting for hospital admission on 30 September was 74,269 - down 1,747 on 31 August. Welsh health minister Jon Owen Jones welcomed the 'positive downward trend' but condemned as 'completely unacceptable' a further rise in the number of patients waiting more than 12 and 18 months for treatment. The number of people waiting more than six months for a first outpatient appointment also rose.
  • Showing a flicker of life but firing blanks at Dobbo

    There are weeks when you wonder how long it will take the Tories to get their act together after the collective nervous breakdown they inflicted on themselves in the mid 1990s. 'I go canvassing - the voters still hate us, don't they?' a former Downing Street official confided at a party the other evening.
  • Still a long way to go on equal opportunities, and subjectivity doesn't help

    At first I thought Steve Ainsworth's piece on equal opportunities ('Opportunities knock', 29 October) was a spoof. I suspect instead that he gives us a perfect illustration of why the NHS and so many other employers still have significant work to do on equal opportunities.
  • Suspended director quits ahead of hearing

    Say cheese:
  • Suspensions: doctors not always in the wrong

    I was disturbed to read your Comment (29 October) about the suspension of surgeons, 'Crack in the complacency', especially in the light of your sympathetic treatment of poorly performing managers on the same page. The fallacious deduction that an increase in the number of suspensions reveals a greater readiness to voice concerns is both misguided and unhelpful: accusations of poor performance are not inevitably valid or fair, and doctors are not always suspended for good clinical reasons.
  • Teachers' pay is no model - it's fallen as well

    Christine Hancock (Observations, 29 October) should not be seeking to raise nurses' pay to match teachers' pay. My wife is a teacher, and has a new colleague who is an ex-nurse. He says that as a nurse he went to work, did the job and went home.
  • The Institute of Health Services Management stands up and applauds its outstanding director

    It is disappointing that Peyman Javidan continues to pursue his criticism of the Institute of Health Services Management's director (Letters, 5 November).
  • The price of false prophecy

    'Many cancer trials in recent decades have measured the end joint (the outcome) in terms of additional months or years of life. Trialists have been very reluctant to measure the quality of the additional time.'
  • The price of false prophecy

    'The cancer industry provides much advocacy and little evidence of cost-effectiveness...
  • To have and to hold

    Delegates to last week's NHS Primary Care Group Alliance conference expressed their worry that plans to let individual practices keep half of any savings made under PCGs will recreate the inequalities of fundholding. Kaye McIntosh reports
  • WEB WATCH MARK CRAIL

    London's 32 boroughs spent an estimated £126m on mental health services in 1997-98 - more than the combined total for all other metropolitan districts, and almost a quarter of the entire local government spend on such services across the whole of England and Wales.
  • What is clinical governance?

    The health secretary says: 'Clinical governance can be defined as a framework through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish.'2
  • Worldwide wisdom

    information management

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