NHS Outcomes Framework: Goals to focus on patient surveys


Andrew Lansley: "Nobody wants to be in a position where they treat patients but don't know what results they achieve"

Patient surveys are to be at the centre of new goals to measure the quality of care received in the NHS in England.

Speaking at a London hospital, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will call for focus on what matters most to patients.

The latest NHS Outcomes Framework stresses surveys of patients, including children, and bereaved relations.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Lansley said patients would be asked: "Was the service and experience you had good or not?"

Of bereaved relatives he said: "We'll be... asking them, after a suitable passage of time, what was their loved one's experience of care and how well were they looked after towards the end of life."

He added: "[We will] ask children about their experience. So five- to 16-year-olds would be part of this survey, with their parents, so for the first time we'll be measuring as part of the outcomes the children's experience of their care."

'Clear focus'

The latest framework aims to measure the "responsiveness" of staff to patient needs when staying in hospital.


Much of what has been announced on Wednesday is already being done in the NHS. Surveys have been used for years, while outcome measures - such as how many people survive a stroke - are already looked at across the service.

What Andrew Lansley has tried to do is articulate a clear vision about how he expects them to influence performance in the future.

He wants to put the patient in the driving seat. But of course they are going to need help navigating their way through the raft of information.

More user-friendly data will be put on the NHS Choices website. But the health secretary is also hoping to exploit new technologies such as smart phone apps.

The simple laws of demand and supply will play an important part as well. GPs who take control of the NHS budget will be expected to use their buying power to channel resources at the best care to ensure the top-performers survive.

It is also designed to improve women's experiences of maternity services, increase the number of people who can access an NHS dentist and help older people recover independence after illness.

Mr Lansley said: "We have to clear the decks and be clear this is what we are focusing on.

"People say: 'In three-and-a-half years' time, in 2015, at the next election, how will we know whether you've succeeded or not?' The answer is: 'Have the outcomes improved?'

"It will be my failure if we haven't improved them and the NHS should feel that it has not succeeded, that is what we are setting out to do."

He said he was concerned that for many diseases, including cancer, Britain's survival rates lagged behind other countries.

"If we were to achieve internationally benchmarked, highest levels of cancer survival, we would save 5,000 lives a year. That's what our cancer outcome strategy is aiming for," he stressed.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "Doctors and nurses will roll their eyes in sheer disbelief at this news.

"The government that promised to scrap NHS targets now loads 60 new targets on an NHS already under severe pressure. It will add red tape and bureaucracy just as the NHS is struggling to cope with the financial challenge and the biggest reorganisation in its history."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    What pity that his policies are driving England Healthcare System over the cliff.
    Specialist nurses being downbanded hardly speaks of improving healthcare.
    The simple answer in move to Scotland or Wales if want a decent healthcare system. With government's who are driven by need to provide proper healthcare not dislussion target driven ones.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Andrew Lansley if you were a doctor you would very quickly be struck off due to the death of your only patient the NHS. Lets have a look at what you're proposing, implementing patient surveys (of which clearly existed before hand), decreased real terms spending on the NHS and syphoning off the now shrinking NHS funds to private contractors of which we can thank for MRSA, and costly light bulbs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Under Labour they called this Mapping the patient experience and raising quality through evidence. Its the same as before All change! - No change!
    The private sector has always run the NHS and always will. GP's Optometrists, Dentists, consultants, Facilities contractors. Only Admin and nurses are NHS staff. Again - All change - No change at all!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Patient surveys are ongoing in all healthcare establishments. They are undertaken by PALs, user groups, the establishments themselves, partnership groups etc. The findings of these are used by CQC in its inspections and form a significant part of its intentions. Pretending that this is a new coalition initiative would be a major mistake. Lansley increasingly seems to not know what he is doing,

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    None of this proposal explains how limited resources can cope with expanding demand and new expensive treatments. The NHS has to enter a rationing mode and the biggest noise will be generated by those being rationed. On what basis is that to structure provision. There are areas where like it or not rationing has to occur. Money expands provision, limiting money limits provision.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Aren't goals just another name for targets, the very thing this government promised to wash away?

    As has been posted elsewhere, patients surveys are nothing new, used extensively within the NHS. It seems that once more Lansley is recycling the existing and badging it as his own idea.

    As for CQC being "hugely over funded" - the reverse is true - under funded, under staffed and under powered.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    @1. Galileo2011

    Does it matter who owns the GP Surgery (normally the GP) who owns the Health Centre (the PCT) The Hospital (the NHS, the Foundation Trust, BUPA et al)?
    Does it matter who pays the staff?

    The Devils Advocate says as long as the NHS meets my healthcare needs "Free at the point of delivery" and it is high quality care who cares?

    Do Ford make the tyres for their cars?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    "3.Has no-one ever sought patients' views before?"

    CQC has been using patient survey and staff survey data for years. I'm not sure how what Lansley has proposed changes anything at all, really.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    As the BMA have just come out and Joined the RCN in being 100% opposed to the Langley demolition plan, I would rather trust the Doctors and Nurses to have a better grasp of what patients want than some hapless incompetent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    16. Read Animal Farm

    Positive outcomes for patients? How about an emergency operation to remove Mr Lansley from the NHS...


    Who ever takes over will just act the same once they are in power.

    Did you not understand the book?

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    And there I was thinking that the hugely expensive CQC was meant to do this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    This will end up with all those who are greedy and shout loudest getting all the "cake" and those who want to "save a bit for later when I'm hungry" will get none!

    I have been to "consultations" where a noisy mental health lobby took over and no one got to discuss anything but the "Mental Health Agenda". (their concern is real but not the all consuming)

    The public get what the axe grinders want!

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Question 6 "Yes, but ignoring the fact that we cut the wrong leg off, what did you think of the food"?

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Definition of a target; something to aim at. Definition of a goal; an aim or object. To my simple mind they both appear much the same so I hope no money is wasted abolishing one to replace it with the other.
    Inviting patient's vews can only be good.
    My recent experience of NHS and private health care opened my eyes to the huge expense of private and the serious delays in the NHS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Don't suppose we could just find out if the hospital made the patient better could we?

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    #15. Actually, walrus, this is nothing radical at all. I was conducting patient satisfaction surveys in the NHS 20 years ago. The reason this is a sham is this. If patients expect a rubbish service and they receive a rubbish service, they are generally not too dissatisfied. They only express dissatisfaction if their experience is significantly worse than their experience.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Pardon my cynicism... but... when in the latter part of the 90's or the early 2000's a "new" NHS plan was launched, heralding the new "patient-focussed NHS", the chpater entitled "The NHS and the Patient" was chapter 9. After "The NHS and Nurses" and after "The NHS and Doctors..." As others say, rather than complaints being used to improve things, they are be ignored as people protect their jobs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    The NHS like any big organisation can make significant improvements, however the biggest stumbling block is changing the attitudes of staff and those in charge.

    I recently underwent a minor op and though I wouldn't complain there were some areas that could have been improved on. The problem is that there are a lot of people in senior positions that have been promoted beyond their ability

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    ... and we all know how good England are at scoring goals

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Be it Pt surveys or employee concerns, many complaints are conveniently ignored or covered up. Would you want your application for Foundation Trust status to be scuppered?


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