Published: 01/04/2004, Volume II4, No. 5899 Page 5

Key indicators for the 2005 starratings have been published by the outgoing Commission for Health Improvement. For the first time, the indicators have been issued ahead of the financial year, over which performance is assessed.

Several changes have been made to key indicators in mental health.

A new one has been added on crisis resolution teams, where the NHS is making slow progress towards the national target to set up 335 teams by December.

Health minister Rosie Winterton said on Tuesday that 130 teams have been created so far.

Meanwhile, key indicators for assertive outreach implementation - where the national target for 220 teams by December looks less challenging - have been removed, along with targets on community mental health team integration.

Across all sectors, Improving Working Lives will be dropped as a key indicator. CHI said the change reflected the fact there was little differentiation between trusts' performance against the current basic Improving Working Lives standard.

Department of Health head of HR capacity and employment standards Dean Royles said it had been been agreed that Improving Working Lives will return as a key indicator in 2006, in line with full implementation of the policy in April of that year.

The ambulance sector has one new key indicator, reflecting the target that 95 per cent of category B and C calls should be answered within 14 minutes in urban areas and 19 minutes in rural areas.