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How Darzi can improve patient care

25th June 2008

Deputy chief executive of the Health Foundation Vin McLoughlin offers Lord Darzi some ideas on how to improve patient care.

reflective healthcare team

Along with many other organisations, the Health Foundation contributed its views to the Our NHS, Our Future review and now awaits Lord Darzi’s final report.

We believe strengthening the partnership between clinicians and patients will improve the quality of care, with patients given the information and skills to understand how to best manage their condition.

A health care study in America showed that only 55% of care provided is effective. If we could reliably deliver care we know to be effective, we could improve the health of many people.

The major challenge for the Darzi review and the NHS is to make sure every patient receives the highest quality of care.

We think he will be able to do that if his final report promotes patients as active partners in care and designs and organises care around patients. There should be investment in giving them the skills to best manage their condition and there should also be a focus on measuring outcomes for patients to help make care safer.

Clear leadership, celebration of the best role models in the NHS and use of the NHS performance management system to ensure providers have “explicit and applied strategies for systematically improving quality” will be important.

But measurement must be at the heart of the system, using patient-reported outcomes and promoting the use of clinical outcomes to build personal accountability for care.

These measures are necessary to ensure the NHS of the future can deliver effective care reliably.

 

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