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Editor's blog Tuesday 2nd February 2010: Out-of-hours report leaked; National Care Service revisited

In today's Guardian, James Meikle has got the inside track on the DH report on out-of-hours services, which is due out at the end of the week.

As I mentioned at the time, when the details of this were emerging, I was doing a bit of press office cover for NHS Alliance, whose urgent and out-of-hours care lead Rick Stern is a director of the Primary Care Foundation, whose benchmarking tool the report will firmly endorse.

Meikle is a smart and thorough journalist, with whom I dealt briefly on this story.  He has followed the tragic story of the killing of David Gray by Dr Daniel Ubani better than anyone.

The wait for the official DH report can be sensibly alleviated by reading the Primary Care Foundation's Reflections and recommendations for commissioners and providers of out-of-hours services in England based on the first two rounds of the benchmark in 2009.

It is, like its title, fairly long at 74 pages, but it has much detail and significant learning about commissioning in general. Yes, the specifics relate to out-of-hours providers, but the report's general points will translate to almost any commissioned service where the intention is to measure quality.

Because that is our intention now.

Isn't it?

The National Care Service muddle revisited
Polly Toynbee also picks up on the Association of Directors of Social services' new report which points out the ridiculous sums in the quarter-baked National Care Service proposals (which we visited here, here and here at the time).

It's a live issue again because Norman Warner's delaying amendment was voted down in the Lords in the early hours.