The national priorities for the national health service are set out in the Operating Framework which reflects the three-year settlement determined by the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. The Operating Framework includes the need to reduce mortality rates; and it is for primary care trusts to determine how to do so locally.
We expect thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment policy to be adopted throughout the NHS. Currently, at the request of the Chief Medical Officer, the chair of the national implementation group is visiting throughout the NHS to discuss with senior managers and doctors their strategies for implementing VTE risk assessment in their hospitals. We will be monitoring the position closely and formally reviewing the policy before the end of this year.
If there is inconsistency in or lack of commitment to implementation, we will consider making it mandatory to perform risk assessment.