The rising trend in cheaper generic medicines rather than proprietary or ‘branded’ drugs being prescribed and dispensed has saved the NHS billions of pounds and enabled millions more prescriptions to be dispensed.
The rising proportion of operations carried out as day cases over the past few decades has been good for patients and a much more efficient use of NHS resources, says John Appleby.
Lord Carter’s interim report on the productivity of NHS providers includes a new method of comparing operating costs: the Adjusted Treatment Index (ATI). But how will it work, and what does it add?
With health policy announcements coming out almost daily both before and after the election, it’s time to take stock of where we are with NHS waiting times.
Will drawing on a whole range of information about care quality take us a bit closer to a meaningful understanding of what care is like in practice?
There is, of course, and always will be, a debate about just what the pay for top public sector posts should be. But that debate should not start with, let alone end at, the Prime Minister’s salary, says Nick Timmins.
The public’s concerns about the NHS have been reflected in the political parties’ manifesto promises. But what do the promises add up to, and is the NHS safe in anyone’s hands?
The last data on NHS performance measures before the election, released this week, shows us what the incoming government will be inheriting. So what does it tell us?
National waiting time performance was meant to be back on track by the end of the year so, with the new waiting times data released by NHS England, how have things been?
It's hard to disagree with the principle that both costs and effects of treatments need to be weighed in order to make decisions about improving value for money and productivity. For a majority of the public however, this is not a principle they hold.
If population health is to be protected, funding for the NHS needs to be safeguarded, but other budgets – for housing, education and leisure facilities – are important too. When it comes to investing in public health measures, which interventions do the public favour?
After the 18-week waiting time target was breached earlier this year, Jeremy Hunt announced £250 million to bring it back under control. We review the latest data to see how successful this has been so far.
With hospital workloads increasing on all fronts, John Appleby takes a look at the key trends and data to explain what's going on.
How long is it reasonable to wait for treatment of depression after being referred by a GP? The results from the 2013 British Social Attitudes Survey are revealing and suggest that public expectations exceed current policy ambitions.
On the face of it, the CDF would seem perhaps to be a good thing, helping improve the quality of life for people at the end of their lives. But is it either a fair or efficient way for the NHS to spend its limited budget?
Over the past few years we have seen several high-profile failures of care in NHS acute hospitals in England, leading many in the system to question the ability of performance management and regulatory mechanisms to identify and act on poor performance.
If in 2013/14 the NHS struggled to maintain performance even with a recruitment round, the chances it can continue to do so with fewer, rather than more, staff look non-existent, says Richard Murray.
In The Commonwealth Fund's comparative study of health system performance in 11 countries, the UK ranks first across a range of measures covering quality, access and efficiency of care. But can rankings only tell us so much?
The last time the NHS fell into deficit it came to many as something of a surprise. This time – going by the responses in our latest quarterly monitoring report – it’s looking rather predictable.
With due credit to the hard work of NHS staff and the hours spent on planning, A&E performance this winter is better than it was last year. But why is this? Richard Murray takes a look at the figures in a data blog.