NHS chief, Sir David Nicholson: We need to close hospitals
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Thursday 06 June 2013
The NHS faces further radical change, including the closure of hospitals and services, if it is to continue offering high-quality care, its outgoing chief executive has said.
Sir David Nicholson said that with limited growth in prospect for the future, the only alternative to change was "managed decline". Addressing a conference of NHS managers in Liverpool, Sir David said the NHS had to escape the "tyranny of the electoral cycle".
He added: "Politicians will never run round saying 'close hospitals' – it is our job to make the arguments with patients." NHS England will produce a strategy of what the NHS "could look like", he said.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, told the conference that NHS bosses had been given a year to develop a "vulnerable older people's plan" to help the heaviest users of NHS services and A&E departments. Mr Hunt also said that GPs needed to take more responsibility for out-of-hours care.
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