This week all we have heard is how the UK populations health is ranked lower than other western nations according to a report published in the Lancet.
We all know that trying to compare performance is difficult even in one organisation, results can be managed to effect the answers. We have seen this in a number of UK organisations so how on earth can you compare across countries with any degree of confidence that you are looking at the same target or the results have the same confidence of accuracy.
Benchmarking is important and to compare ranking across different nations may highlight areas where we can seek improvement and this is always positive.
We should make sure we celebrate the substantial absolute improvements that have been made in many areas within our health service, the ranking should be used as a prioritising tool for future improvement plans.
People work in the health service and their contribution to those improvements should be appreciated.
From the press reports it would appear it is all doom and gloom it’s just not correct to interpret it this way.
Table 2 from the report shows that for 259 disease causes there was a overall 14,7% improvement per 100000 in “disability adjusted life years” (DALY) between 1990 and 2010.
Within that the list of diseases there were improvements as high as 43.7% in cardiovascular and circulatory disease but a deterioration of 47.9% with cirrhosis of the liver.
There is much to do in the health service and there are always improvement opportunities particularly when funding is limited and politicians are continually changing the targets or organisation every political cycle.
If you get the chance look at the report from the Lancet, interesting results