BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 15 July, 2002, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
NHS billions 'will deliver faster care'
Patients will wait six months for operations by 2005
The huge rise in NHS spending over the next few years will deliver faster and fairer care for patients, the government has pledged.

Ministers said the extra money will be used to cut hospital waiting times and reduce deaths from key diseases.

The pledge was made in a "public service agreement" published by the Department of Health.

Key pledges
Three month outpatient waits by 2005
Six month inpatient waits by 2005
Maximum two day wait for GP appointment by 2004
Maximum four hour A&E wait by 2004
Cut deaths from heart disease by 40% by 2010
Cut deaths from cancer by 20% by 2010
Every government department is to publish an agreement outlining what voters can expect from the government's planned increase in public spending.

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced the move in his spending review on Monday.

The Department of Health public service agreement repeats promises already made after April's Budget, when Mr Brown announced a record rise in NHS spending.

It also includes some pledges originally made in the NHS Plan in 2000.

Shorter waiting times

These include proposals to reduce waiting times for hospital outpatient appointments to three months and inpatient appointments to six months by 2005.

The agreement also repeats ministers' promise to reduce the maximum waits in A&E departments to four hours by 2004.

The Department of Health added that it would continue to work to reduce deaths from heart disease by 40% by 2010.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn said: "The new public service agreement describes the key improvements that the public can expect to see from the government's programme of extra resources back by far-reaching reform."

The agreement was published shortly after details of the government's spending review were announced.

The review focused primarily on education, since the government's spending plans for health had already been announced in April's Budget.

Under those plans, NHS spending will rise from 65.4bn in 2002 to 87.2bn in 2006. By 2008, spending will total 105.6bn.

The Liberal Democrats said the increase in funding should be accompanied by reforms.

Its health spokesman Dr Evan Harris said: "The government has set so many political targets that local organisations have no freedom to deliver real improvements for local people.

"Ministers must introduce real decentralisation to the NHS to bring management, patients and staff closer together."

The government's plans for future spending are published on 15 July

Key stories

At the sharp end

Analysis

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes