Published: 26/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5824 Page 13

The government believes that it is the service's success - or failure - in meeting targets that will reveal whether or not the NHS is improving.But HSJ wants to know what measures individual managers are using to judge the success of NHS reforms.We want to understand the specific goals, rather than strategic indicators, that managers are striving for in their day-to-day work.Below are some of those already suggested to us I'll know the NHS is improving when...

'...I walk around outpatients at 5pm and there are no patients still waiting for transport home.'

Manager, acute trust

'...we make a service improvement and senior consultants ask: 'What do patients think?'' Manager, acute trust

'...doctors stop having to chase referrals.'

Business manager, GP practice with a competent GP and access to able nurses and therapists.'

Manager, primary care .

'...we spend more time discussing how well the booked admissions system is working than how to handle potential waiting-list breaches.'

Manager, acute trust

'...you can go into any practice in the patch, find it friendly and welcoming,

Send us your suggestion - no more than 50 words.We will not accept anonymous contributions, but let us know if you do not want your name and workplace to appear. Send them to alastair. mclellan@emap. com