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Government launches NHS listening exercise

  • Last modified date:
    26 April 2011

The Government has taken the opportunity of a natural break in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill to engage with patients, the public and health professionals on NHS Modernisation.

The Prime Minister said: 'This listening exercise is a genuine chance to make a difference. Where there are good suggestions to improve the legislation, those changes will be made'. Secretary of State Andrew Lansley added that it was a chance to ‘pause, listen, reflect and improve’.

Steve Field, former chair of the Royal College of GPs, will lead the NHS Future Forum, bringing together patient representatives, doctors, nurses and other health professionals to listen and report back to the Government.

The nurse and midwife members of the NHS Future Forum are Vicky Bailey, Principia, Partners in Health, Nottingham; Hillary Chapman, Chief Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals; Clare Leon-Villapalos, Intensive Care Nurse at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Julie Moore, Chief Executive at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust; and Gill Walton, Director of Midwifery at Portsmouth NHS Trust. A mental health nurse is expected to be named shortly.

The principles of clinical-led commissioning and greater involvement of local government are clear. Engagement over the coming weeks will focus on choice and competition to improve quality, public accountability and patient involvement, education and training, and advice from healthcare professionals to improve patient care.

NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson has written to chief executives, confirming delivery commitments and giving an update on transition progress. He also highlights the need to stay focused on core responsibilities while the listening exercise takes place, and to ask two key questions in taking forward decisions this year: will it improve care for my patients? Will it improve value for taxpayers?

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