Introduction to Healthcare

3197 Words Jan 1st, 2013 13 Pages
Introduction to Healthcare
This essay will identify and examine the factors that have, and continue to, influence health care policy and practices within the ever changing health service. It will particularly concentrate on the changes in the National Health Service (NHS) within the last decade and the impact that this has had on the Operating Department Practitioner profession.
The National Health Service (NHS) was launched on 5th July 1948 by Aneurin Bevan, the then Minister of Health. Its 3 core principles were to meet the needs of everyone, to be free at the point of delivery and be based upon clinical need and not the ability to pay. The services were to be predominantly funded from general taxation. (NHS, 2011). The Porritt Report
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This gave them sole responsibility for purchasing healthcare for their service users. Institutional care was to be abolished with the introduction of community care. The Patients Charter (Great Britain. Department of Health, 1991) focused on the service user being the consumer. It introduced their rights and expectations and defined the standards of service they could expect. This was subsequently updated in the Updated Patient Charter (Great Britain. Department of Health, 1995) which included more specific standards. In July 1998 the strategy for reorganising and modernising the NHS A First Class Service – Quality in the New NHS (Great Britain. Department of Health, 1998) was published. Its aim was to modernise the NHS ensuring delivery of high quality services for all. Quality was to be maintained by setting standards through National Service Frameworks and the forming of National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). These standards were to be monitored by the creation of the Commission for Health Improvement. This was to be an independent statutory body which could scrutinise quality improvements at a local level and address any serious issues identified. Spot checks can be carried out and clinical quality information is made public. Additionally there was also the introduction of an annual national survey of patient and user experience of the NHS. It stated that quality of service should not be dependent on geographic location
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