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Editor’s blog Monday 19 July 2010: First dose of the government's health wikipolicy, Transparency In Outcomes, now online

The DH has now published the first instalment of its experiment with wikipolicymaking, with the launch of the consultation about outcomes, Transparency In Outcomes. Its impact assessment is here.

Consultation responses should be sent to NHSWhitePaper@dh.gsi.gov.uk by 12 October.

The DH press release says, "Today’s publication proposes a new framework that aims to refocus the NHS on the outcomes achieved for patients rather than the process targets of the past that had no clinical justification.

"The framework includes a set of national outcome goals which patients and the public can use to judge the overall performance of the NHS and hold the Government to account for progress.  The framework and the national outcome goals will form a combined mechanism by which the Secretary of State for Health can hold the new NHS Commissioning Board to account for the outcomes it is securing for patients.

"The consultation document suggests five outcome domains and seeks views on the structure and the core principles that should underpin the development of the framework, as well as the more specific outcome measures that should be used.  The proposed domains are:

"Domain 1: Preventing people from dying prematurely
"Domain 2: Enhancing the quality of life for people with long-term conditions
"Domain 3: Helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury
"Domain 4: Ensuring people have a positive experience of care
"Domain 5: Treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from avoidable harm"

It quotes Andrew Lansley as saying, "I want to free doctors and nurses to focus on what really matters - better results for their patients - instead of them being stifled by top down targets.

“Instead of politically motivated targets which lack clinical evidence, we will measure the outcomes that are most important to patients and that are relevant to healthcare professionals.  These will be backed up by authoritative, evidence-based quality standards that will ensure everyone understands how those outcomes can be achieved.

“I want to hear the views of healthcare professionals, patients, carers and the public on how the new system should work, and what we should measure to ensure the NHS is focussed on what is important to patients and what improves their overall experience of NHS care".

All nice enough in its own way. Just a couple of thoughts.

Firstly, why is this going to work using Lansley's "authoritative, evidence-based quality standards" when NICE guidance, Cochrane Reviews, BMJ Best Treatments and other authoritative, evidence-based stuff are so often ignored?

Secondly, if you;re going to listen to patients and staff, you are going to have an awful lot of feedback about car parking. Let me just check NCP's share price ...