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NHS Confederation comment on Hunt bureaucracy annoucement 

Mike Farrar says it is promising that the health secretary is listening to concerns with announcement of work to reduce bureaucracy in the NHS.

Mike FarrarMike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

"Patients must always come first if the NHS is to deliver the best and safest care possible. That is the simple defining principle at the heart of the recent Francis report into events at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.

"We need to deliver this principle, and we need help to make sure the system is set up in the right way to allow us to do it.

"It is in no one's interest that staff and management have to deal with red-tape that pulls them away from patient care.

"We need to make sure that the whole system - including hospitals, commissioners and regulators - revolves around the patient. We need the Government and policy makers to be alive to the dangers of burdening staff and organisations with overly-bureaucratic systems and processes.

"The NHS Confederation has been calling for action on this issue for some time, and it is very promising that the health secretary is listening to our concerns.*

"NHS organisations have a responsibility to provide the right information so they are accountable to patients and taxpayers. We need Government, regulators, commissioners and providers working together to focus on what is really important and so we can strike the right balance of collecting relevant, useful information which informs and empowers patients and helps improve NHS services."


Notes to Editors

*A recent paper from the NHS Confederation looks at the issue of bureaucratic burden on NHS organisations and potential ways of reducing it.

A 2009 report from the NHS Confederation  called on the Department of Health and regulators to simplify providers' process of reporting.

The NHS Confederation has raised concerns that unless the bureaucratic burden on NHS organisations is reduced, there is a risk that frontline staff time is in danger of being diverted from patient care to form filling and box ticking.

In recent years, the number of administrative staff working in the NHS has dropped by ten per cent and the number of managers has dropped by 18 per cent.  Figures suggests that the requests on organisations to provide information may have not decreased in line with this.

The organisation is currently working with its members to look at how they can reduce the administrative burden on their services and staff and analyse which longer term solutions could successfully tackle the issue.

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Francesca Reville
020 7799 8633

Georgie Agass
020 7799 8637

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