Analysis And Comment

Still striving for utopia

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7532.47 (Published 05 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:47
  1. Carol Black, president (carolblack@rcplondon.ac.uk)1
  1. 1 Royal College of Physicians, London NW1 4LE

    My vision for the NHS 10 years hence is not far removed from the orthodox aspirations of today, but it is a considerable advance on what is often found, what is poorly reported, and what is seriously misunderstood. Of course, it is folly to imagine the utopia Aneurin Bevan once envisaged. But it would be worse to believe that we have achieved all that is possible. Health, health care, the experience of patients and their families—and of health staff—can all be made better than they are today.

    The current government has set core standards describing what must be done, supplemented by developmental standards, designed to drive up quality of care.1 By 2015, these will all have been met and we will have a service that is safe, clinically effective, and patient focused.

    Changing patient priorities

    The need to preserve health, protect health, and prevent or delay ill health casts responsibilities far beyond the …

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