Health department to cut bid bureaucracy and speed up funding

1 Aug 02
The Department of Health will introduce a simplified bidding system for central funding next year as part of its drive to reduce hospital red tape.

02 August 2002

When it allocates money to local health services each year, the department holds on to some funds for specific projects. However, trusts complain bids for this cash take up valuable management and clinical time, the criteria are often unclear and there is little guarantee of success.

In a report published jointly with the Cabinet Office Regulatory Impact Unit this week, the department acknowledged that the system was over-bureaucratic and confusing. Making a difference: reducing burdens in hospitals said unclear assessment criteria meant bid documents were often unnecessarily detailed and trusts received poor feedback on failed bids.

The department has proposed a standardised, fast-track route to central funding for three-star trusts and hopes this system will apply to all trusts by 2003/04.

The streamlined system is one of 40 bureaucracy-busting measures in the report, which was produced by civil servants and an advisory group of NHS personnel after interviews with 250 frontline staff.

Other measures include authorising nurses to request clinical tests and administer intravenous drugs, cutting the time taken to register nurses returning to practice to six weeks, and streamlining Commission for Health Improvement inspections.

Health minister Lord Hunt said: 'These are just the sort of measures we need to root out red tape and enable frontline staff to concentrate on caring for patients.'


Did you enjoy this article?