Part of hospitals’ funding will depend on patient satisfaction ratings from 2010-11

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 11 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5451
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    Up to 10% of a hospital’s income will be linked to patients’ satisfaction with its services, the health secretary announced as part of his five year plan for the NHS in England.

    Andy Burnham told a conference of NHS executives in London on 10 December that the move was a “symbolic shift towards a patient centred service.”

    The five year strategy emphasises the need to accelerate reforms of the NHS to make the system more productive while continuing to improve quality of care.

    Mr Burnham said, “It is time to take our improving NHS from good to great. This means a new drive towards a more preventive and people centred service—better for patients but also productive.”

    The chancellor of the exchequer’s prebudget report confirmed that the NHS is being allowed to keep the £1.3bn (€1.4bn; $2.1bn) surplus it currently holds and that frontline NHS spending will be protected for the two years to 2012-13. Mr Burnham said that this “substantial” increase in funding means that “we can lock in the achievements of the last decade.”

    He added: “Our waiting times targets will become permanent rights in the NHS Constitution.”

    However, efficiency savings of £15-20bn still need to be made over the three year period from …

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