Intended for healthcare professionals


Keeping patients out of hospital

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 29 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:262

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  1. N J Naftalin, consultant gynaecologist,
  2. M A Habiba, senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Leicester Royal Infirmary NHS Trust, Leicester LE1 5WW

    Papers p 279

    Secondary care consumes a large proportion of the healthcare budget and the need to spend wisely is ever pressing. The prevailing political philosophy of the past few decades in Britain has meant that efficiency and effectiveness have become part of NHS vocabulary. Doctors have probably been better at adopting new practices than they have been at dropping outdated methods, but in both areas there is room for improvement. Moreover, government funding is unlikely to improve unless the profession can show not only its commitment to best practice but also its ability constantly to examine its procedures and implement improvements or abandonment when necessary. Clinical governance should nourish this process, but if success is to be achieved it will come from leadership, drive, and initiative from within the profession. The move to keep patients out of hospital is clearly part of the search for efficiency and effectiveness, but it is important to know what patients think of it and that clinical effectiveness is …

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