Kings Fund paper on accountability in the NHS

The Kings Fund has produced a useful paper on accountability in the NHS. focusing specifically on the implications of the government’s reform programme.

The paper begins by defining what the authors mean by accountability, and how variations in the mechanisms of accountability may be defined in practice. It then considers the differences between how accountability operates in the NHS today, and how it will operate after implementation of the government’s reforms. It then considers what issues these reforms might raise for the way that the health service is held to account further into the future.

Of particular interest and note are the following five main types of accountability relationship identified by the authors in their report:

■ scrutiny (for example, of NHS trusts by local overview and scrutiny committees)
■ management (for example, of primary care trusts by strategic health authorities)
■ regulation (for example, of secondary care providers by the Care Quality Commission)
■ contract (such as relationships between commissioners and providers)
■ election (such as the appointment of foundation trust governors by the trust

Download ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE NHS – Implications of the government’s reform programme here.

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