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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Another day in another NHS year

14th January 2009

Robina Shah writes in the Health Service Journal about what the NHS achieved last year and the challenges it faces in 2009.


The first month of this year has given me some time to think about what happened in 2008 and look at what lies ahead for 2009.

January has also presented the opportunity to look at what the NHS operating framework for 2008/09 put in front of us.

We are happy that "there are no surprises" and generally have been in favour of the promises made by chief executive David Nicholson.

The health service's main targets for 2009 are: "freeing up the front line by moving towards local stretch targets, while delivering on national priorities."

This year is also the beginning of the "next three-year planning round". The service will be focusing on the development of first class commissions in order to make changes that will benefit public interests.

In relation to financial rules, the NHS will be challenged to put in place frameworks which will support the next part of the review.

An essential part of this is the necessity to keep health service surpluses in place for delivery. Trusts must consider the "delicate balance between delivering national priorities and local targets while at the same time investing in quality and safety improvement".

The process set in place by businesses are crucial for the future - if they are not determined then it is impossible for management to maintain a clear view of planning and accountability.

So what are the challenges faced by management in the coming year? Personally I think that the health service must carry on building on what has been put in place to assure delivery of quality of care.

Our core need is to find fresh ways to work in order to move forward and provoke changes.

We have the chance to make the changes which will make 2009 a "better year". Those changes can be determined by improving "patient outcomes".


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