Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announces new NHS 'quality standards'

A new set of NHS "quality standards" will improve patient care, the Health Secretary said today as he insisted he was not creating new targets for the health service.

Some 150 clinical areas will eventually have their own set of quality standards, with the first three published today covering dementia, blood clots and stroke.



The standards set out the type of care patients can expect and some timeframes for treatment.



Andrew Lansley, who has scrapped several of Labour's key targets, including the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours, insisted the new standards were not just another set of targets.



Speaking at the launch of the standards, which have been developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), Mr Lansley said they were not mini-targets as they were "evidence-based" measures identified by the NHS itself.



"These are standards, not diktats. It is not politicians establishing these, I am not picking them out.



"If I started doing that, I would be distorting clinical standards."



The announcement comes as a survey of 120 NHS managers found almost two-thirds believed Mr Lansley was wrong to drop targets.



The poll, from nhsmanagers.net, found many thought axing targets was a step backwards.



The managers included practice managers and clinical directors.



Some 59% said targets should stay, with some telling the site that there could be a return to long waiting lists for patients.



The latest standards from Nice are drawn from various sources, including existing Nice guidelines, and reports from the Royal Colleges, the Department of Health and the National Audit Office.



It will be up to local managers - or possibly GPs in the future - to check if the NHS is meeting them.



If trusts fail to reach the standards, they could face losing contracts to carry out services, such as stroke care, which could be commissioned from other hospitals instead.



It is unclear how data will be collected nationally so patients can assess whether standards are being met.



Dr Tim Kendall, who led development of the dementia standard, said it would help transform the experience of dementia patients but also support carers.



"Some carers suffer far more than they should. People with dementia effectively die while the person caring for them watches them disappear," he said.



The stroke standard sets out how patients can expect to receive a minimum of 45 minutes, five days a week, of therapies to help them improve, such as speech therapy or help with movement.











Dr Tony Rudd, who worked on the stroke quality standard, said patients were not getting full access to therapies.

"Probably nowhere in the country is giving 45 minutes at the moment to all their patients," he said.



He added all hospitals that admit stroke patients have access to 24-hour imaging services but "that does not mean all patients are getting it".



Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, said: "At first look, these may seem like a whole set of new targets, but the big difference is that they are not politically driven.



"There is evidence behind these and that should mean we do not get the perverse incentives we have seen in the past."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Analyst – 2 year fixed term contract – Kent – Circa £55k

£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...

**SEN Primary Teacher Serf Unit **

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...

Experienced Foundation Teacher

£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week