A new Audit Commission report published today assesses progress in improving data quality – especially performance data – in the NHS. It reports on-going problems with embedding a culture of good data quality into NHS organisations. Continue reading
“On Tuesday, the Healthcare Commission report revealed that between 2005 and 2008 there were 400 excess deaths at [Stafford] hospital – although it was impossible to say whether these had all been caused by bad care. The report said there were deficiencies at “virtually every stage” of emergency care and managers pursued targets to the detriment of patient care.” Report on BBC website (emphasis added).
The story of undoubted and appalling failure at an English hospital is being widely blamed in the media, by opposition politicians, doctors leaders and some academics, on the so-called ‘target culture’ in public services. But the truth is rather more complicated and harder to explain. Continue reading
Even when the Government claims to be ’empowering patients’ it manages to do it in a Whitehall-centric way. Continue reading
Are we about to enter a new era of public management? There are good reasons to think that this may be the case. Continue reading
One thing that the current financial crisis ought to do is raise a serious debate amongst public policy makers about pay for performance – in the private and public sectors. Continue reading
The major first report by the UK’s latest ‘think tank’, the Institute for Government led by well-known and outspoken former Permanent Secretary Sir Michael Bichard, bodes well for the future of the new body. It is a serious, measured and balanced account of many of the achievements and problems experienced in the UK. Continue reading
Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the UK civil service, in a recent speech outlined why he thought the British civil service would perform well in the current financial and economic crisis. In an article – “Mandarin-tinted glasses” – published in Public Finance magazine, I ask questions just how well Whitehall is really doing – based on their reports of their performance. Continue reading