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Lansley to create £50 million cancer drugs fund

The UK government is setting up a multi-million pound fund dedicated to improving patient access to innovative new cancer drugs.

From October an extra £50 million will be made available to help the NHS pay for oncology treatments as an interim measure designed to improve access before the longer-term Cancer Drug Fund is launched next April.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “It's a scandal that we are strong in cancer research and participation in clinical trials in the UK, yet NHS patients aren't always seeing the benefits from the research swiftly enough.

NICE gets expanded role in quango cull

Andrew Lansley

The bonfire of the quangos has begun in earnest in the health sector, with 18 so-called “arm’s length bodies” cut to between eight and ten.

The rationale is that there has been much duplication of effort between them – and steamlining these standalone national organisations, which are sponsored by the Department of Health, will save more than £180 million by the financial year 2014-15, the government says.

Government outlines health reform goals

The coalition government has proposed five areas, from increasing quality of life to preventing premature death, against which the success of its radical overhaul of health services should be judged.

The move is part of a public consultation on the structure, core principles and outcome measures that should be used in the reshaped NHS.

Radical NHS reform unveiled

Andrew Lansley visit
Andrew Lansley (right) visits Cockermouth Community Hospital (Steven Barber Photography Ltd)

Radical reforms of the NHS have been unveiled which will give GPs control of the health system spending and see current management structures abolished.

Many commentators say the reforms are as great as any the health service has undergone since its creation in 1948, but opinions are divided on whether the plan to improve patient care and cutting costs can work.

Value-based pricing for UK pharma by 2014

Andrew Lansley
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the measures "will help ensure better access for patients to effective drugs and innovative treatments on the NHS"

The UK government plans to radically overhaul the way medicines are paid for, introducing a value-based pricing system within the next four years.

Its wide-reaching White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS also proposes changes to the role of NICE and structural shifts in the way NHS budgets are handled, with control of 80% of funds passing to GPs.

Government has mandate for NHS reform, says Dorrell

In return for ringfencing the NHS’s budget, the government now has a strong mandate for reforming health services, says the new chairman of the House of Commons health select committee.

Stephen Dorrell, who was health secretary under the previous Conservative government in the 1990s, insists change is the quid pro quo for protecting the NHS from cuts.

“Because we have made that commitment we now have a licence to undertake reform of the system, to ensure the money is being used for that,” he told Public Finance magazine.

Margot James: Tories to 'nudge' change in NHS

Margot James
Margot James addresses the PM Society meeting

Speaking to the industry for the first time since being elected as Conservative MP for Stourbridge at the recent General Election, Margot provided the PM Society audience with insight into the new coalition government’s key priorities, and her views on the future of the NHS and the role of the industry in the new healthcare agenda.

Margot began by saying that although political life was now her sole purpose, the pharmaceutical industry remained very important to her and has a very special place in her heart.

Lansley calls for "cultural shift in the NHS"

Andrew Lansley

In his first speech as health secretary Andrew Lansley has called for a “cultural shift in the NHS”, moving away from what he says is “a culture responsive mainly to orders from the top-down”.

This must change to a culture that is responsive to patients, in which patient safety is put first, he insisted.

The Lansley vision of public health sees hospitals made responsible for reducing the number of emergency readmissions, with more treatment at home, in return for a single payment.

Full steam ahead for NHS boards

The government is setting up new NHS boards that will act independently to allocate resources and oversee the commissioning of care.

The reform has been a standing health policy of the Conservatives since 2008 and was a key manifesto pledge during the recent general election, which saw a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition come to power.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is now aiming to turn Monitor, the existing foundation trust regulator, into a full economic regulator for the NHS to pave the way for the new boards.

UK government sets out its vision for health

Andrew Lansley

The NHS can expect real term increases in health spending and a significant reduction in its administration burden, according to the government.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said his vision for healthcare was a clear message to the health service that the new coalition government is aiming for “outcomes that are amongst the best in the world, and free from day-to-day political interference”.

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