Matthew Shaw shares his perspective on the first meeting of the NHS Future Forum.
So, today was the day when the meeting of minds happened in the NHS Future Forum.
The risk of being part of such a group is that you wonder whether there will be any listening done and hence any changes made. So was this just going through the motions?
I am really pleased to say that the day was productive and there was heated debate concerning some of the key issues. There was a diversity of people present and for those concerned about this being a whitewash: from my point of view it didn’t feel like it. However, the devil will be in the detail of the report!
To make an aspirational system I think you need to make courageous changes and the Bill certainly does this.
The concerns I have always had is that we continue to deliver a fair and free system at the point of entry, we maintain training and education standards and that commissioning does not get in the way of the doctor patient relationship and is done to a high standard.
I have been reassured regarding the first but we have some way to go on the second and third points.
There is no doubt that knowledge is power and what becomes more obvious the longer I work in the NHS is that there is lots of data, but little information. Without this knowledge intelligent commissioning will not happen and hence the system will not work.
A good start but lots more work to do.
Matthew Shaw is Consultant Spinal Surgeon, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital; and Co-founder, Remedy UK. He is sitting on the Forum’s education and training theme.