NHS measured against key indicators
A new set of measurements will deliver a true verdict on how the NHS is performing, the Health Secretary has insisted.
Andrew Lansley published 60 "indicators" to judge how well the health service is doing in key areas such as cancer survival.
The vast majority of the data is already collected and published within the health service, including patient surveys and death rates from various illnesses.
But Mr Lansley hopes bringing it together in the NHS Outcomes Framework will create a clear vision of where the NHS is going and allow performance to be compared.
Mr Lansley wants to focus on outcomes rather than those targets that were introduced under Labour. Nevertheless, critics argued that the benchmarks must not just turn into another set of targets.
Royal College of Nursing chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: "We certainly welcome the Government's commitment to improving patient outcomes and the focus on giving patients much more information about their care.
"However, it is vital that these benchmarks do not turn into additional targets that will place further pressure on an already stretched NHS workforce."
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the Government had just introduced 60 new targets. He said: "Doctors and nurses will roll their eyes in sheer disbelief at this news.
"The Government that promised to scrap NHS targets now loads 60 new targets on an NHS already under severe pressure. It will add red tape and bureaucracy just as the NHS is struggling to cope with the financial challenge and the biggest reorganisation in its history."
The NHS Information Centre will publish details of how the NHS as a whole is performing against 16 of the indicators next week, including patient surveys on areas such as maternity and A&E, as well as survival rates for various illnesses. Data for all 60 indicators will eventually be published on the NHS Information Centre website.