Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is this week starting a listening tour of England to hear people’s views on the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS.
In the first of a series of listening events, he will hear the views of charities and the voluntary sector, before hearing from nurses at the Royal College of Nursing annual congress.
The Health Secretary will take part in a seminar with nurses and listen to their views on the Government’s plans.
Mr Lansley, his ministerial team and the NHS Future Forum are keen to hear from a range of frontline health professionals. They will be engaging staff on plans to:
- give professionals more power
- give patients more control
- bring together the best providers of healthcare
- make services more local.
The views raised around the country will be fed back to the NHS Future Forum, a new group of patient representatives, doctors, nurses and other health professionals that will listen and report back to Government. Members of the Forum are due to be announced later this week.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘We are modernising the NHS to improve our country’s health and save lives. I encourage people to get involved so that we have an NHS is truly world class.’
Chair of the NHS Future Forum, Professor Steve Field, said: ‘This is a genuine chance to make a real difference to the future of the NHS. The NHS must change to meet the challenges and demands it faces. Most people have strong views about the NHS and this is a real opportunity for people to have their say and help shape the changes.’
NHS Future Forum member and Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations Sir Stephen Bubb said: ‘Charities and social enterprises play a hugely important role in delivering high-quality, efficient NHS services, and a policy of enabling whoever is best-placed to deliver could see them do more, to the immense benefit of NHS patients and taxpayers. We need to seize that opportunity, and leave debates about privatisation where they belong – in the last century.’
Last week the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Secretary announced that the Government would be taking time to pause and reflect on the views raised so far, to listen to health professionals and to improve the proposals further before the Health and Social Care Bill progresses to the next stage.