This site is intended for health professionals only

Reforming local healthcare by 2021 ‘really ambitious’, warns Sir Bruce Keogh


16 February 2017

Share this story:
Twitter
LinkedIn

NHS England’s top doctor has said suggestions that regional plans to overhaul health and social care services can be fully implemented by 2021 are ‘really ambitious’.

In an exclusive interview with Healthcare Leader, formerly The Commissioning Review, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said that only about one third of areas will have made significant progress by 2021.

NHS England’s top doctor has said suggestions that regional plans to overhaul health and social care services can be fully implemented by 2021 are ‘really ambitious’.

In an exclusive interview with Healthcare Leader, formerly The Commissioning Review, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said that only about one third of areas will have made significant progress by 2021.

In the implementation process, Keogh stressed the importance of involving clinicians, saying healthcare leaders will find themselves in ‘a precarious position’ without them.

He said: ‘They see themselves as advocates for the patient. So when you’re trying to change services, there are people who can commentate, but it’s only people who work in the system who can actually change it.’

When asked whether the implementation process would be completed in the next five years, he said: ‘I think it’s really ambitious.’

He added: ‘There will be some STPS that will achieve a lot by 2021, but as with all things, when you start something new with different groups of people about a third do things really well and they’re ahead of the pack, about a third are pretty middling, and about a third have got a long way to go.

‘I think that distribution holds out for the STPs as well.’

In the interview, Keogh also commented on the four-hour waiting time target in A&E, which has been regularly missed in many hospitals across the country in 2016/17.

 ‘I don’t think we should expect it to be the new normal but I don’t think we should expect it to turn around very quickly,’ he said, adding that NHS England will be looking into how to ‘improve flow through the hospital’ in the coming months.

However, he said the target should be given ‘considerable thought’ as it is currently a ‘simple arithmetic calculation’.

He said: ‘There are different influences, which can make you do well or less well on the four-hour target.

‘In an extreme example, if you have a lot of minor cases coming in and out of you’re A&E, you can turn them around very quickly, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re turning around the very sick people quickly.

‘It’s one of the problems with simple arithmetic measures.’

The full interview can be read here, and in the latest issue of Healthcare Leader.

Twitter
LinkedIn