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NHS operating framework for 2010-11 places emphasis on quality

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 21 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5573
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    The NHS operating framework for England for 2010-11 sets out how the payment system will be changed to reward quality, with increases to hospitals only available by improving quality.

    After 2011 the fixed price tariff system will be abandoned. For the first time “best practice tariffs” will be introduced so that the prices paid reflect the highest quality care and the NHS will no longer pay for “never events.”

    Much of the content of the framework was pre-empted by health secretary Andy Burnham last week when he launched his document NHS 2010-15 (BMJ 2009;339:b5451, doi:10.1136/bmj.b5451). The operating framework document puts more flesh on the bones of this vision. For the third year in a row the national priorities remain the same, including reducing healthcare acquired infections and maintaining target waiting times.

    In a forward to the report the NHS chief executive, David Nicholson, said, “If we are successful, the NHS in five years’ time will have more services closer to home and therefore less investment and activity in the acute sector. There will be much less variation, with the NHS pound increasingly spent on defined quality …

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