NHS Governance and Accountability
This chapter explores the new procedures created within the NHS designed to regulate its governance. Until the mid-1990s, NHS governance had developed piecemeal in response to specific issues and problems as they arose from time to time. But this was short-lived. Introducing the Citizen's Charter, the Prime Minister of the time, John Major, deplored the absence of proper accountability in many areas of public service. As he saw it: Telephones answered grudgingly or not at all. Booths closed while customers were waiting. Time was pointlessly lost when appointments were not made or kept. This was the weekly reality for millions of people in Britain up to the end of the 1980s. This is the background against which the discussion in this chapter should be understood and it explains the creation of large number of new regulatory bodies with powers to audit and supervise doctors and NHS managers.
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