Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, announced a new drive to raise NHS standards yesterday by switching attention away from waiting times, cancelled operations and ward cleanliness.
Performance will in future be measured on the basis of death rates, recovery rates and patient experiences. But it emerged the list of 60 new "goals" for the NHS was a reheated version of the one published as the NHS Outcomes Framework a year ago. Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, accused Mr Lansley of reintroducing targets in another guise, after the Coalition had pledged to abolish them.
Mr Burnham said: "Doctors and nurses will roll their eyes in sheer disbelief at this news."
The Department of Health at first said it would expect to see "progress" on the "majority" of the 60 measures but denied they were targets.