NHS watchdog chief warns: 'Reform now or the health service will go bust'

Private sector must get more involved, argues head of the CQC

A fundamental shift in the culture of the NHS is needed to prevent it reaching crisis point.

The head of its official regulator has warned that “radical change” is required to rid the NHS of outdated working practices, cure it of widespread bullying and heal the damaging rift between managers and clinicians.

David Prior, chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), also said that without “major long-term change”, the UK’s health service will “go bust”.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Prior called for greater input from the private sector, the merging of hospitals and changes to the way the NHS is held to account – particularly, the scrapping of waiting targets.

Mr Prior said that despite seeing much worthy of merit in his 12 years working for the NHS, he has also been “too often shocked by some of the behaviour I see”.

“To do the right thing, sometimes you have to speak out against the organisation that you love,” he said.

He highlighted the “alarming” revelation that a survey of 100,000 NHS staff found one in four had been bullied. He also described the NHS as having a culture that “stigmatises and ostracises” whistleblowers who raise concerns or complaints.

His warning comes at a time when the NHS is struggling to emerge from crises such as the Mid-Staffs scandal, where hundreds of patients died and suffered neglect, as well as facing rising costs and an ageing population.

Mr Prior, a former MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, who was appointed to run the CQC last year, said: “Too often it (the NHS) delights in the ritual humiliation of those deemed to fail, tolerates and institutionalises outdated working practices and old-fashioned hierarchies, and can almost encourage 'managers' and 'clinicians' to occupy opposing camps.

He also highlighted a “them and us” relationship between hospital managers and clinicians and drew unfavourable comparisons with the United States, where “many clinicians are on the executive teams”.

“There is little to envy about their funding model. But when it comes to the way the health care organisations themselves work, there are powerful lessons,” he said.

Mr Prior called for a major restructuring in healthcare provision, with more successful hospitals taking over failing ones, shared services, improved community services and better care outside hospitals.

More competition - with more entrants into the market from private sector companies, the voluntary sector and other care providers - is needed to drive up standards, and measures of hospital performance need to change, he said.

”We need the Government to change the way it holds the NHS to account: an end to trusts being blindsided by waiting targets that miss the point, skew priorities and have unintended consequences.“

Mr Prior added: ”Without serious change, the NHS will deliver poor care, and ultimately go bust.“

Additional reporting by Press Association

 

 

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SAP Project Manager

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

    SAP Project Manager

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

    Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

    £600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

    Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?