Darzi reforms doubt14th January 2009
MPs have suggested that the future pay of NHS managers should be linked to their data-analysis abilities.
The view came with politicians expressing concerns about the health service’s capacity to implement Lord Darzi’s health service reforms.
In a report on the Next Stage Review of the NHS, the House of Commons Health Committee says primary care trusts "lack analytical and planning skills" and that the quality of their management is variable.
Committee chairman Keith Barron MP said: "We remain very concerned that PCTs are not yet up to the task of putting these reforms into practice."
The document called for improved leadership in the NHS and improvements to management skills and also voiced concerns that neither the world class commissioning programme nor strategic health authorities would improve the situation.
The report said: "Senior NHS management, clinical and non-clinical, should acquire analytical skills which will enable them to understand the products of expensive and increased investment in clinical and cost effectiveness data."
Those skills, it added, should be linked to performance related pay.
The committee also posed the question as to whether the further review of the NHS had been necessary.
The NHS Confederation felt the criticism was misplaced and chief executive Steve Barnett said the organisation was confident that PCTs could deliver Lord Darzi's vision for the future of the NHS.
The British Medical Association said the report highlighted its concerns about the Next Stage Review.
A key area the Darzi report focused on was improving quality through new information portals for staff and patients.
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