HC Deb 30 January 2002 vol 379 c420W
Dr. Fox

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the NHS Efficiency Task Force last met. [24574]

Mr. Hutton

The Efficiency Task Force last met on 28 June 1999.

We now take a wider view of performance, that also includes the delivery of quality and access targets. The continued development of our approach to performance is now informed by the Performance Working Group. The aim of the Performance Working Group is to provide practical advice on the design and implementation of a system and approach to performance management. It has members from the national health service, academics, and patient's organisations. It met four times in 2001, and last met on 24 January 2002.

We have introduced a range of measures to improve performance in the NHS. This includes the publication of comparative information—as part of the performance indicators; investment—including 7,500 more consultants and 20,000 more nurses by 2004; setting national standards—through the national service frameworks; stronger regulation and inspection—where the Commission for Health Improvement plays a key role; and spreading best practice—for example, by the Modernisation Agency.