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Medical Procedures (Success Rate)

Volume 300: debated on Friday 7 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what new proposals he has to increase the percentage of NHS operations and other procedures which are successful. [14417]

The quality, effectiveness and outcomes of National Health Service services will be a paramount objective of the plans we will bring forward to replace the competitive, contract driven and bureaucratic internal market.We have already made a clear commitment to put clinical quality at the heart of our plans for the NHS. The Priorities and Planning Guidance for the NHS for 1998–99 made clear that the effectiveness and quality of services is central to the purpose of the NHS. We have in development an integrated approach to improving the quality, effectiveness and outcomes of NHS care.The law bringing into force the General Medical Council's professional performance procedures was implemented on 1 July 1997 and we will shortly be issuing guidance to the NHS on its role in these procedures.The Chief Medical Officer has written to all Chief Executives and Medical Directors of NHS trusts asking them to ensure that they have effective procedures in place for doctors to report their concerns about the conduct, performance or health of medical colleagues. This builds on the General Medical Council's guidance in

Duties of a Doctor which requires all doctors to:

"act quickly to prevent patients from risk if you have good reason to believe you or a colleague may not be fit for practice".

We also welcome the new Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures, which is meant to help the clinical professions decide how to handle the safe introduction of developments in technology in surgery. Furthermore, the recently introduced reforms of higher specialist medical training, which includes the introduction of improved, more structured medical training programmes, will ultimately lead to improvements in the quality of the care provided to patients.