NHS News

I will be placing important news events in this section. Most will be links to other sites so that you can access this information quickly rather than trawling through google for them. The idea is to keep doctors up-to-date with major events and make it easier to catch up with the News before exams and interviews.

The Tooke Report

This is an independent inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) and MTAS conducted by Professor Sir John Tooke. The final report published on the 8th Jan 2008 is available here.


"Key principles in the Unfinished Business report by Chief Medical Officer of England, Sir Liam Donaldson 2002 of flexibility and ‘broad based beginnings’ lost have been lost." Doctors under MMC have been made to specialise too quickly and training should return to a more flexible and 'broad-based' foundation.

"Trainees increasingly supernumerary in the NHS" - and so a department should be set up that would co-ordinate the education needs of trainees and there should be clarity on the roles of doctors and proper workforce planning. Any changes to the system should take into account the numbers of doctors already in the system and should be carried out over a number of years to ease transition

"The split between the two bodies, GMC and PMETB creates diseconomies (finance and expertise). Tooke suggests that PMETB should be merged within GMC offering:

With the onset of MTAS and MMC changes there was disarray within the profession - there was not a clear message from the group as a whole. Various colleges and other departments had their own opinion which diluted the voice of doctors. "The profession should develop a mechanism for providing coherent advice on matters affecting the entire profession"

"From this damaging episode for British Medicine must come a recommitment to optimal standards of postgraduate medical education and training.
This will require a new partnership between DH and the profession, and health and education.
An aspiration to excellence must prevail in the interests of patients."

The Lord Darzi Report

High Quality Care For All - NHS Next Stage Review Final Report is available to read from the DOH website - published 30th June 2008.
Also the Darzi website has updates on this. OurNHS website .


"Create an NHS that helps people to stay healthy. For the NHS to be sustainable in the 21st century it needs to focus on improving health as well as treating sickness."
There is great emphasis on this aspect throughout this report.

"Every primary care trust will commission comprehensive wellbeing and prevention services, in partnership with local authorities, with the services offered personalised to meet the specific needs of their local populations. Our efforts must be focused on six key goals: tackling obesity, reducing alcohol harm, treating drug addiction, reducing smoking rates, improving sexual health and improving mental health. Raised awareness of vascular risk assessment through a new ‘Reduce Your Risk’ campaign."

Choice for the patient is also highlighted
"Introduce a new right to choice in the first NHS Constitution. The draft NHS Constitution includes rights to choose both treatment and providers and to information on quality, so that, wherever it is relevant to them, patients are able to make informed choices."

Clinical Governance is made more important
"The Care Quality Commission will have new enforcement powers.
NICE will be expanded to set and approve more independent quality standards. A new National Quality Board will offer transparent advice to Ministers on what the priorities should be for clinical standard setting by NICE.
For the first time we will systematically measure and publish information about the quality of care from the frontline up. Measures will include patients’ own views on the success of their treatment and the quality of their experiences. There will also be measures of safety and clinical outcomes.
All registered healthcare providers working for, or on behalf of, the NHS will be required by law to publish ‘Quality Accounts’ just as they publish financial accounts.
For senior doctors, the current Clinical Excellence Awards Scheme will be strengthened, to reinforce quality improvement.
All NHS staff will have access to a new NHS Evidence service where they will be able to get, through a single web-based portal, authoritative clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice.
Introducing new responsibilities, funds and prizes to support and reward innovation.
Ensuring that clinically and cost effective innovation in medicines and medical technologies is adopted.
Creating new partnerships between the NHS, universities and industry. These ‘clusters’ will enable pioneering new treatments and models of care to be developed and then delivered directly to patients."