NHS Targets: learning from experience

Hole Ousia

The following Report was published in November 2017:

The Foreword began [highlights are mine]:

The Report author Sir Harry Burns states: “experience with existing targets and indicators has been positive in many respects. Significant improvements have been seen in many aspects of health and social care following their introduction.” He continues:


In what follows I present a summary of my experience as an NHS Consultant in relation to the application of one particular Scottish Government target.

Back 8 years ago I found myself under considerable pressure from a GP and Quality Improver to expand the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to include people who do not meet established clinical criteria for dementia. The argument was put forward as follows:

“We realise there is a lack of consensus generally about patients with minimal cognitive impairment but even if this is what the psychometric findings conclude- it would be useful to have an…

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