Press release

International report confirms the NHS is performing well for patients

A major international study published today shows that NHS is performing well for patients in many areas

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


But latest figures show that there is room for improvement in patient care

A major international study published today shows that NHS is performing well for patients in many areas including some aspects of mental health care, vaccinations and preventative care, such as the number of unplanned hospital admissions for people with diabetes.

However, the report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ‘Health at a Glance’ also shows that England still lags behind other countries on some patient outcomes for cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases despite spending more on healthcare than the OECD average. It also reiterates the increasing pressures on the NHS due to obesity and other lifestyle related diseases and long-term conditions.

The government will soon set out updated plans to improve patient results and address issues flagged in the report through the NHS Outcomes Framework for 2012/13. The Framework, which has been endorsed by the OECD, lies at the heart of the plans to modernise the NHS and sets out criteria the NHS must focus on, including:

o Preventing premature mortality
o Enhancing the quality of life for people with long-term conditions
o Helping  people to recover from episodes  of ill health or following injury
o Ensuring  people have a positive experience of care
o Treating people in a safe environment and protecting them from avoidable harm

Responding to the OECD report, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“I’m passionate about the NHS and want to safeguard it for future generations. It is one of our most valued national institutions and I applaud NHS workers for their hard work, day in and day out.

“But this report is further evidence of the need to modernise our health service. It clearly shows that although the NHS is doing well in some areas, it is still lagging behind other countries in some key areas of patient care.

“Improving patient results is a top priority for me. We need to allow the NHS to focus on what really matters to patients; things like survival rates, recovery rates and whether people can live independently and with dignity.  Because I want a modern health service that works around patients and their needs - so that we have an NHS that consistently achieves health outcomes amongst the best in the world.”

Notes to editors

1. For more information, please contact the Department of Health newsdesk on 020 7220 5221

2. The OECD Health at a Glance is a two-yearly publication that contains international comparisons of health indicators using the latest data (2009 in the 2011 edition).  It will update their previous report HAG 2009, which used 2007 data. The full report can be found on the OECD website.

Published 23 November 2011