Ministry of Health

Policy Statement

We will provide a world class health service free at the point of delivery to all British citizens.  We will promote well-being through good physical and mental health.

Performance Reporting

Annual report on outcomes and costs.  An annual review of our standing in international rankings.

Strategic Initiatives

Consultation to settle once and for all the structure of the NHS

The NHS is the best-loved and most enduring of the Welfare State reforms that were introduced after the Second World War.  It ranks highly in international comparisons.  It can be argued that if it ain’t broke we shouldn’t fix it.  Yet periodically people try to fix it.  Or tinker with its organisation structure.  Or cut its funding.  Or privatise it.  And all the time it succeeds, in spite of these external influences, but often at the expense of the people who work in it and sometimes to the detriment of patients on waiting lists.   In particular, the reforms of the  2012 Health and Social Care Act have left the NHS without any strategic direction.   It is time to finally decide what kind of NHS we want and how we are going to pay for it.  This will not be a small task.

1 year:  We will prepare for a multi-option consultation on the organisation and funding of the NHS including the ownership of hospitals,  charging foreigners, the provision of some paid-for optional services, the engagement of patients and prevention of abuse (such as missing appointments), the role (if any) of medical insurance, preventative medicine and all other matters that are potential issues.

5 years:  We will ensure that all the various options are properly researched and that their implications are accurately presented to the public.  We will ensure that the result gives a good consensus for future development.

Longer term:  It might take longer than 5 years to implement the decision – if it requires significant change.

 Accountable Care Organisations

The Government has been encouraging groups of neighbouring trusts to come together into informal groups known as Accountable Care Organisations.  This essentially reinstates the Strategic Health Authorities abolished in 2012 – a sensible U-turn but proceeding without central direction and too slowly.

100 days:  We would issue instructions to trusts to complete these organisations to allow short term improvements to be undertaken while awaiting the longer term review.

5 years:  We would embark on a series of small-scale, agile IT developments, co-ordinated across the whole NHS to address areas where short term benefit is realisable.  Any major IT development would come as part of the main strategic review.

Preventative medicine

The big improvements in public health will come from preventative medicine – stopping people from becoming ill rather than treating them when they are ill.

5 years:  We will ensure that the NHS is funded to form an effective task force to put statistics into usable form for decision making on issues and to mount campaigns.

Medical research and other uses of citizens’ database

As the database of British citizens (see Home Office) becomes available it will create opportunities such as the streamlining of patient’s records and invoicing for non-citizens.  More importantly it will allow “big data” medical research on an unprecedented scale and scope

5 years:  We will ensure that the NHS is adequately funded to grasp these opportunities.

 

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