Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Care Before Targets Please
The MSP Keith Brown has been blowing the Scottish government's trumpet about the NHS.
Welcoming a newly published annual report into the 2100/2012 performance of the NHS in Scotland, which revealed the NHS has delivered some of its best ever performances against a range of key targets, Mr Brown said:
"These statistics clearly show that the improvements we have seen in the NHS in recent years have continued to grow and grow.
Despite the challenges that have been faced, the fact that NHS performance against key targets is so high is a fantastic achievement.
That achievement has only been made possible thanks to the hard work and determination of the dedicated NHS staff in Scotland, who consistently go the extra mile to care for their patients".
The statistics he refers to are the successful delivery of the 18-week referral to treatment waiting time target: reduced the time between decision to treat and treatment of cancer patients to 31 days; reduced incidents of C.difficile by 24% and MRSA/MSSA by 10% and carried out 272,000 alcohol Brief interventions in the past four years.
Derek Feeley, the NHS Chief Executive, described the progress as "the best ever performance". While I welcome Mr Brown's enthusiasm for NHS targets being achieved, the latest FOI replies detail the care aspect of our health service is in need of improvement too. (You'll be able to check incidents which have occurred in your area).
It's about time politicians and health professionals realised that the public judge quality in the NHS by the standard of care their families and themselves receive and not by statistics. Care is fundamental to our health service and should never be sacrificed by target-driven managers.