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NHS targets revamp, promise Tories

24th June 2008

David Cameron, the Tory leader, has said that the Conservatives would get rid of Labour's current preoccupation with waiting times and instead concentrate on survival rates.

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He said they would move away from the current "top-down" focus on NHS targets and would look at problems such as cancer and stroke.

Mr Cameron gave a speech to the Royal College of Surgeons and said his party wanted to ensure five-year cancer survival rates exceeded the EU average by 2015.

He also stated that premature death from stroke and heart disease would be reduced so it was under the EU average by 2015 and for lung disease by 2020.

Mr Cameron said patients would be provided with information so they could draw a comparison between different hospital performance.

He said improvements to the "average European standards" could prevent 38,000 deaths, or 100,000 deaths at the "highest levels".

Mr Cameron said: "We still have some of the worst health outcomes in the whole of Europe."

"Right now, England's near the bottom of the table when it comes to five-year cancer survival rates."

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the King's Fund, said: "To be fair to the NHS, it has already recognised that it needs to move on from an exclusive focus on centrally imposed targets towards measuring health outcomes."




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