The King's Fund comments on the publication of the NHS Outcomes Framework for 2012/13

Commenting on the publication of the NHS Outcomes Framework for 2012/13, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King's Fund, said:

'We welcome the continued emphasis on aligning NHS priorities with outcomes for patients and refining indicators to measure improvements in the quality of care. The focus on aligning the separate outcome frameworks for the NHS, public health and social care is also welcome. The critical test now is how this translates into joint working at a local level.

'The absence of an indicator measuring how well care is co-ordinated for patients with multiple needs is an omission and it is notable how little emphasis was placed on promoting integrated care in last week's NHS Operating Framework. The continued absence of an indicator to measure progress in tackling health inequalities is disappointing, especially given the emphasis the government has placed on this in its health reforms.

'It remains to be seen how practical it is to translate 60 specific measures at an organisational level and the extent to which they will be performance managed. As the Prime Minister made clear earlier this year, waiting times are still important and remain a key indicator against which NHS performance should be judged.'