Improvements in the NHS are patchy, report says

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 15 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1052
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    The NHS is improving, but progress is still too patchy, a report from the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) said last week. It identified as problems poor infection control, too great a concentration on waiting lists, and a lack of doctors in management positions.

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    Dame Deirdre Hine: “Some trusts don't have… strategies on hospital acquired infections”

    The commission's first annual report on the state of the care of patients draws on over 170 reviews of NHS organisations carried out by the independent watchdog since its establishment three years ago.

    The “bottom line” was that the NHS was “on the whole getting better,” said the report. But it warned that the rigid focus on waiting list targets and service redesigns was putting improvements at risk.

    Dame Deirdre Hine, CHI's chairwoman, said that national standards, based on NICE guidance or national service frame-works, had …

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