The Internal market is to be replaced with a system of integrated care and all funding and non-funding GPs are replaced with Primary Care Groups of GPs. The NHS Direct, a 24-hour advice line staffed by nurses, has also been established. Under provisions in the NHS, GP surgeries and hospitals are connected to the NHSnet, the NHS' own information superhighway. Waiting time for cancer suspects has been reduced drastically- they will see a specialist in two weeks.
Under the initiative termed as Clinical Governance, emphasis is given on quality issues. Quality issues are addressed by National Standards and Guidelines through National Service Frameworks (NSFs) and National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). They provide authoritative, robust and reliable guidance on current best practice on areas like medicines, medical devices, diagnostic techniques and the clinical management of specific conditions. This is good because it will ensure that clinical standards are met and there are processes to ensure continuous improvement backed by a new statutory duty for quality in NHS trusts.
The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) has been established to support and oversee the quality of clinical services locally, and tackle shortcomings. It intervenes by invitation or the Secretary of States' direction where a problem has not been gripped.
Focus is given on key areas such as life long learning (Continued Professional Development), risk management, performance indicators, evidence-based practice and professional self-regulation.
Life long learning is a positive step, for the NHS staff will have the opportunity to continuously update their skills and knowledge to offer the most modern, effective and high quality care to patients. Likewise, risk management is required so that Trusts comply with the Trusts Risk Management Policy and the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992. This will ensure that each area or activity has a risk assessment. This will certainly reduce hazards both for patients and staff.
The use of performance indicators serves to highlight low or high achievement and to therefore raise questions about services provided. However, they represent only one of the several types of analysis. More detailed investigation of trends over time and the use of qualitative data should also be used. Evidence Based Practice is a good step for it will lead to a conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care individual patients. Professional self-regulation will provide clinicians with the opportunity to help set standards.
Clinical Governance in the NHS is seen as a change or the better as it creates a new culture- away from blame, open and participative, good practice expected and valued, shared commitment to quality, active working with patients, multi-disciplinary working, strong leadership, and board involvement.
Previously, the NHS consisted of the NHS Executive, Regional Offices, Health Authorities, NHS Trusts, Primary Care Groups, and Local Authorities who look after social services and ambulance services. The new NHS has a structure comprising of
the NHS Executive, Health Authoriti