Quality takes centre stage as NHS moves forwards

The
NHS will have fewer targets and put more emphasis on the quality of patient
care from 2005, under plans announced by the health secretary.

John
Reid said the targets had helped to deliver faster treatment for patients and
raised staff numbers. As a result, he said, the focus can now move to raising
quality standards.

The
new standards against which the NHS will be judged from April 2005 include core
quality standards, setting a level of care that every patient should expect,
wherever they are treated in the NHS.

The
Government will consult the NHS on the proposals over the next 12 weeks.

By Quentin Reade

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