NHS Confederation reaction to Andy Burnham speech

Published on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:28
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Mike Farrar says Andy Burnham is right to highlight long-term pressures facing the NHS and calls for an all party debate on the need for change to address them.


Commenting on the proposals put forward by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said:

"Mr Burnham is absolutely right to highlight the long-term pressures facing the NHS and the need for radical change to address them.
A cocktail of financial pressure and demographic change means that the NHS needs to adapt to meet the needs of today's patients.

"We urgently need an all-party debate about these issues, with radical solutions very much allowed. The NHS will judge the plans of all politicians on how they help the service tackle these massive problems."

On structural reorganisation, Mr Farrar said:

"The NHS has spent two years undergoing significant reorganisation. The last thing it needs is more major upheaval or prolonged uncertainty. We welcome Mr Burnham's assurances that his suggestions would not imply further structural change, and we look forward to further debate about what his plans might mean in practice."

On the issue of competition, Mr Farrar said:

"We believe the NHS should embrace the use of well-managed and intelligent competition. It should never be an end in itself. Patient interest, not ideological interest, should always be the overriding principle.

"It is essential that any competitive processes focus on the improvement of services across the system and ensure that poor providers of care are stamped out. Competition can be a powerful weapon in helping newly established clinical commissioning groups ensure substandard care is never the only option for their patients."

Source: ©NHS Confederation


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