David Prior, the Care Quality Commission chairman, has commented that the NHS had become “too powerful to criticise” in the recent past, despite some patients receiving an unsatisfactory service. Even the most senior staff were sometimes afraid to speak out.
He also believes that attention and resources could be prioritised more on primary and community care to reduce pressures on emergency departments and hospital admissions.
NHS ‘was too powerful to criticise’ says regulator. London: BBC Health News, December 21st 2013.
Other comments from David Prior:
Care Quality Commission’s David Prior attacks NHS culture. London: BBC Health News, February 2nd 2014.
Related, and possibly of interest:
Jeremy Hunt crazy to call hospital bosses, says regulator. London: BBC Health News, December 21st 2013.
Four-Hour A&E Waiting Time Target
The NHS in England missed slightly the four-hour A&E waiting time target during the week up to January 5th 2014. 94.3% of patients were seen within four hours; just below the 95% target.
Triggle, N. (2014). NHS in England ‘misses A&E target’. London: BBC Health News, January 10th 2013.
England’s major A&E units missed the waiting time target for 52 weeks according to figures released in July 2014.
Triggle, N. (2014). Waiting target missed in major A&Es ‘for whole year’. London: BBC Health News, July 18th 2014.
Simple (Innocent) Slip: Mean Versus Median
Jeremy Hunt warned over hospital waiting times data. London: BBC Health News, July 29th 2014.
Nuffield Trust on A&E Attendances
The following Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation report was published as part of their joint QualityWatch programme. It discusses the underlying reasons why hospitals increasingly fail to hit A&E waiting time targets:
Blunt, I. (2014). Focus on: A&E attendances. Why are patients waiting longer? London: Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation, July 24th 2014.
Possibly also of interest, there is coverage on the QualityWatch website:
A&E departments are experiencing a perfect storm of factors leading to an increase in waiting times. London [Online]: QualityWatch, July 23rd 2014.
Can the local interpretation and implementation of targets become dysfunctional? Patients are twice as likely to be admitted in the 10 minutes immediately before the four-hour target than in the 10 minutes before.
Triggle, N. (2014). Are we missing a trick on A&E? London: BBC Health News, January 10th 2013.
Possibly of indirect interest:
Triggle, N. (2014). Are hospitals fiddling the waiting times? London: BBC Health News, January 23rd 2014.
A broader BBC philosophical analysis concerning the pros and cons of NHS “target chasing” generally:
Triggle, N. (2014). Are we too obsessed with NHS targets? London: BBC Health News, December 30th 2014.
“The thing with targets is that they often displace the problem…. they don’t necessarily make things better overall, they just alter who loses out”. Richard Murray: Director of Policy at the King’s Fund.