Date: 5 August 2004
New ways of measuring performance needed - UNISON
comments on Auditor-General's NHS report
UNISON, Scotland's Public Service
union, said that new ways of marking performance and setting targets are needed
if improvements in our NHS are to be accurately measured.
Matt Smith, UNISON's
Scottish Secretary said; "Scots have a right to expect high performance from their
NHS and that wont be achieved only by attempting to measure it by financial cost
accounting measures. Unless monitoring takes into account the wide range of factors
that determine performance, it will not show the true service delivery. It will
need to include resources available, and the needs of the community as well as
the service delivered, if we are to assess improvements properly."
union, who are the largest in the NHS, also fears the pressure for improvements
could lead to the growth of a 'Scrutiny Industry' with duplicate bodies set up
to monitor performance.
"We are rightly proud of the fact that our NHS
spends less on administration than most healthcare systems in the world." Says
Matt, "We don't want to see more and more quangos set up simply to count the pennies."
Matt also called for an accurate measurement of the true costs of PFI/PPP
funding of new developments. "The whole area of PFI funding is bedevilled with
secrecy and so-called commercial confidentiality." He said.
"It is disappointing
that the Auditor-General hasn't identified the need to assess the amounts of money
going into shareholders pockets or having to be spent to cure building problems
like the excessive heat at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. PFI remains a hugely
wasteful system of building new facilities and it is time that the full costs
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt
Smith (Scottish Secretary) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07771 548 997(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)