Posted by: Witch Doctor | November 6, 2008

Performance results – looking at the stars?


Witches and black cats often journey out into the wilderness of The Parallel Universe when The Human Kind that we are forced to mingle with are driving us batty. As a consequence, we know quite a lot about stars and planets and constellations and black holes. Consequently, we love to visit observatories so that we can remind ourselves that there are forces much greater than the trivia that cause consternation to the inhabitants of The Planet Earth.

We were rather surprised some time ago to discover there is are Health Observatories. This terminology is of course a Blue Bottle Spell which was badly conceived by some stupid witch because it convinces the public wrongly that there is some stellar research going on there. On that occasion The Heath Observatory was observing obesity. We wondered if they were on the lookout for fat angles or had plans to put all the cherubs on a diet.



“Having been at least 30 years in the making, the obesity trend will not be halted overnight. This strategy is a first step and will be followed by an annual report that assesses progress, looks at the latest evidence and trends and make recommendations for further action. A panel of experts will assist the Government, with input from a new public health obesity observatory that will develop our understanding of what changes behaviour.”

Now there seems to be another Health Observatory called THE LONDON HEALTH OBSERVATORY. My Black Cat and I are not sure whether it is situated in the same building as “THE FAT OBSERVATORY” or whether there are lots of different observatories springing up all over the place.

The London Health Observatory seems to have the job of publishing QOF data. So, if you add on and GP score cards then it seems GP’s are undergoing more scrutiny than The Milky Way.

The Witch Doctor is rambling a bit.

The point is, apparently a group of former DOH advisers and top NHS managers seem none too pleased with Lord Darzi’s announcement that GP surgeries should be rated like Zagat resturants.

They don’t think Darzi’s pronouncement is evidence based.

Of course it’s not evidence based. We know that, My Black Cat.

But why is this being questioned now?

” Evidence that publicly ranking GP practices can improve health outcomes is almost non-existent, according to a think-tank staffed by former DoH advisers and top NHS managers.

As Lord Darzi announced plans last week to let patients rate GP surgeries’ performance in a form similar to the Zagat restaurant rating system, a Health Foundation report highlighted the failure of similar schemes.

Researchers uncovered several instances in England ‘where the public release of performance results could be a disincentive for improvement’. The study found that the release of performance data has spiralled in the last 10 years in the US and the UK.”


So, why are former DOH advisers taking this line?

See if you can find the original report, My Black Cat.

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





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