NHS chief tells politicians to embrace hospital closures to improve services for patients

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 28 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f582
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Opposing changes to hospital services in England risked perpetuating mediocrity, the NHS’s medical director, Bruce Keogh, has warned.

Appealing to politicians to step above their local interests and think of the wider interests of the NHS, the man responsible for quality at the NHS Commissioning Board said that changes might mean local closures or reconfigurations but that the result would be that patients could be directed to specialist centres where their care would be better.

“Unless we can get to that place where people look at the greater good, which is sometimes in conflict with local interests, then professional, personal, and political interests will conspire to perpetuate mediocrity and inhibit the pursuit of excellence to the detriment of our NHS and ultimately our patients,” Keogh told the Guardian.1

Reconfigurations in at least 15 places …

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