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David Cameron and Andrew Lansley have been at the Royal College of Surgeons this lunchtime to launch their Green Paper on health. Click here to download the pdf. These are the six main points that Cameron made:

European levels of spending, but not European levels of healthcare: "Tony Blair sat on Sir David Frost’s sofa and committed the Labour government to matching European levels of health spending. Today, that pledge has been delivered. But despite all this extra money – all that extra spending – we still have some of the worst health outcomes in the whole of Europe… If we improve the NHS so it meets the international average, we could save an extra 38,000 lives a year. If we improve the NHS so our results are comparable to the best countries in the world, we could save over 100,000 lives a year."

Building on existing reforms: “Foundation hospitals won’t go, they’ll stay – and we’ll improve them. Commissioning by GPs is right – we’ll make it really mean something… actually giving GPs real control over their budgets… Patient choice is essential and we’ll make it actually work – we’ll let patients choose any provider that meets NHS standards at delivers at NHS costs."

Scrapping top-down process targets: "Superficially, some of these targets may look sensible. After all, no one wants to wait a long time to be seen in A&E. But because they push healthcare professionals to make decisions purely to ‘tick boxes’ rather than because they’re beneficial to the health of their patient, too often the result is worse patient care and a worse health outcome… Labour’s targets are all about chasing good headlines – and nothing to do with the clinical needs and the health of patients. So yes, to make sure our health outcomes are among the best in Europe, a Conservative Government will scrap all centrally-imposed process targets."

Measuring long-term outcomes: "We will
harness the power of information and publish the details of healthcare
outcomes. So we’ll measure cancer survival rates, instead of recording
the number of radiotherapy courses delivered per month in a particular
oncology unit. We’ll measure how well patients are after treatment,
instead of timing how long someone’s in an A&E bed. And we’ll
measure how many people lead active lives whilst suffering from chronic
lung disease, instead of recording how many records GPs have updated
into information systems."

Information revolution: "This is about
concentrating not the ‘how’, but the ‘what’ about concentrating not on
what politicians care about, but on those things that people really
care about… No more five-minute chats in your GP’s surgery picking a
hospital based on its waiting times and availability. But the power –
the ability – to really compare and contrast different care providers
on the things that really matter to you and are easily understandable –
survival rates, after care service, patient satisfaction."

Healthy competition on outcomes: "Care
providers can actually focus on innovative approaches to getting the
right outcomes for their patients and giving real value for money to
the taxpayer… It goes without saying that by making outcome
information readily available, we will introduce an element of healthy
competition between different care providers. They’ll be able to see
what works and what doesn’t – what different practices are doing to
achieve result and how they can learn from them."

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