Andrew Lansley: It's been difficult, but the NHS will be better for it

Share
Related Topics

I have spent seven and a half years learning about the NHS, talking to people who work in it and understanding how it works.

There are few things as precious as the NHS, and the principle it is based upon – a universal service, free at the point of use – is one I am committed to. But I also want to ensure that our health service achieves excellent results for patients, as good as anywhere in the world.

Last week, I received the report from the independent NHS Future Forum, a group of experts with decades of experience of the health service who were asked to assess our plans for modernising the NHS.

They said clearly that the NHS cannot stand still – it must change to meet the challenges of the future. It must also constantly strive to improve quality and safety for patients.

We accepted all the core recommendations, which demonstrates our commitment to engage patients and staff in improving our proposals. As a result, we have strengthened our plans and have a clear consensus on how to realise our vision of a health service where patients are at the centre of every decision.

We listened to concerns that there could be a "market free-for-all" in the NHS. This was never our intention, so we are making it clear that the health regulator's core role is to protect and promote patients' interests, not competition for its own sake.

We listened to calls for more nurses and specialist hospital doctors to be on local groups who commission local services. So we are widening the range of experts that will be given the power to make decisions on services for their local community.

We listened to concerns about private companies "cherry-picking" the most profitable work and about "privatisation through the back door". We were always clear we would not let this happen, so we are introducing new safeguards to stop this. Competition based on quality, not price, will drive improvements for patients. And we will never privatise the NHS.

We listened to the advice of health experts and patients, and we are improving our plans. This listening exercise has been hugely valuable. We are now in a stronger position to deliver our vision of an NHS free from needless bureaucracy, where doctors and nurses have freedom to shape local services; and where patients are in control of their care: "No decision about me, without me."

It was right to pause and reflect, but I appreciate this will have caused some uncertainty, particularly for the 1.4 million NHS staff. As we move forward, I want to take with us the doctors and nurses who are central to our plans.

This week I will set out further details of the changes we will make. I expect to bring forward more than 150 amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill. These will deliver stronger benefits for patients and will reinforce the principles of NHS modernisation: shared decision-making with patients, a relentless focus on quality and outcomes, clinical leadership, and accountability.

I am determined to see these plans through to secure a sustainable health service for generations to come. This process has at times been difficult – modernising an organisation as large as the NHS always is – but this is what I am in politics to achieve.

Now it is time to move forward. I think, in years to come, people will see this as a key moment – when, with the guidance of medical experts, we put the NHS on the road to success.

Andrew Lansley is Secretary of State for Health

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Hang on – that’s not how it’s supposed to be written

Guy Keleny
Rafael Nadal is down and out, beaten by Dustin Brown at Wimbledon – but an era is not thereby ended  

Sad as it is, Rafael Nadal's decline does not mark the end of tennis's golden era

Tom Peck
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test