Editor's Comment

13.06.17

Tackling the major challenges facing the NHS

Source: NHE May/Jun 17

As you will have gathered from the front cover, a theme that runs throughout this edition of NHE is about empowering and involving the workforce in order to deliver innovative change across the system. 

Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, highlights on page 16 the importance of sustainability and transformation partnerships/plans (STPs) being implemented and delivered with clinical input at their core. 

And the Health Foundation’s director of research and economics, Anita Charlesworth, explains on page 68 why the NHS can’t deliver sustained efficiency improvements and transform services without a serious examination of its approach to pay and the way it plans and uses its nursing workforce across the system. 

These are all discussions that, I’m sure, will be raised and debated at the upcoming NHS confederation annual conference, taking place just a week after the general election, and the Commissioning Show, which returns to London’s ExCeL at the end of June. 

In the run up to Confed2017, NHE’s Josh Mines catches up with Niall Dickson on page 66 about what delegates can expect from the event and what he believes should be the focus of the new government – whatever colour or political stance – once votes have been cast on 8 June. 

Nigel Edwards, CEO at the Nuffield Trust, also argues in this edition’s Last Word that it would be a lost opportunity if the next government does not seek to put both health and social care funding on a more sustainable footing – a point I think many of us would agree with. 

Also in this issue is a special focus on mental health, with a fascinating piece of analysis by Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind and the man who spearheaded the NHS taskforce on mental health in 2015 (more on page 38). There is an update on the Scan4Safety project from GS1 UK, and a great debate on pages 26-27 between Vivek Kotecha, research officer at the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, and NHS Improvement’s Suzanne Bates on the importance of investing in the back-office workforce of the NHS.

David Stevenson

Editor

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