Editor's Comment


A new world, or more of the same

Source: NHE May/June 15

We have previews and show guides to two giant events in this edition of NHE: first the NHS Confederation annual conference and exhibition 2015 on 3-5 June (p79-81) and then the Health+Care Show including The Commissioning Show on 24-25 June (p35-45). 

Virtually everyone with influence in the NHS will be speaking, attending, exhibiting or networking at one or both of these events, and the NHE team will of course be there too, interacting with our readers and advertisers and covering the two conferences for our website, newsletter and the magazine itself. 

We have had a general election since the last edition reached you, but politically the change has been less seismic than it might have been, with the Conservative manifesto health pledges containing much that is familiar from the previous Coalition administration. 

Jeremy Hunt stays on as health secretary, though many of the rest of his ministerial team has been replaced – only Jane Ellison remains in post inside the Department of Health, though George Freeman (a former biomedical venture capitalist) also stays on as a life sciences minister, a role split with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 

Alistair Burt will have the big shoes of Norman Lamb to fill, since the Lib Dem won high praise for the way he approached his brief on mental health and learning disabilities, even though he could not achieve what he wanted in terms of getting people out of institutions. 

Ben Gummer has taken over from Dr Dan Poulter, his constituency neighbour to the south who said his ministerial work was taking up time he wanted to devote to medicine as a part-time doctor. 

In the Lords, there is a familiar face – David Prior, who had been CQC chair since 2013. He was also a Conservative MP, briefly, until he lost his seat to Norman Lamb in 2001. Prior’s responsibilities include economic regulation, finance, commissioning policy and NHS operations and performance. 

With £8bn to find to meet the party’s pre-election pledges on the NHS, which included implementing the Five Year Forward View, an unfunded pledge to provide a seven-day NHS, and a right to a specific, named GP, the ministerial team have a busy Parliament ahead of them. 

On the Labour benches, Andy Burnham remains health spokesman, though he is also in the running – and the favourite in the betting markets – to be the party’s next leader. 

NHE will be keeping its eye on the all the developments at Richmond House and across the NHS, as we enter an apparent new era of provider deficits

Adam Hewitt


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