NHS England’s chief executive sets out thinking on new models of care

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3842 (Published 12 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3842
  1. Chris Ham, chief executive
  1. 1King’s Fund, London W1G 0AN, UK
  1. c.ham{at}kingsfund.org.uk

He has the opportunity to make changes that in normal times would be impossible

In a series of speeches and interviews, culminating in an address to the annual conference of the NHS Confederation this week, the new chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has begun to describe his priorities for the NHS.1 Foremost among these priorities is a desire to be radical about how services are provided. This entails further concentrating specialist services where evidence shows this will bring benefits, while continuing to provide access to local hospital services for the growing number of older people who need these services.

Stevens’s radicalism extends to how hospitals will be staffed in his questioning of the assumption that almost all NHS acute hospitals need a full complement of trainee doctors to keep service afloat. With a 76% increase in the number of consultants working in the NHS since 2000, he has raised the prospect of some hospitals emulating what happens in parts of Europe, where medical care is delivered by consultants only. He has also advocated more emphasis on generalism in medicine, echoing the work of the Royal College of Physicians on the future hospital.2 …

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