London's healthcare services—againBMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7101.140 (Published 19 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:140
Some good ideas, but implementation needs political skill and government commitment
- Elaine Murphy, Chairmana
- a City and Hackney Community Services NHS Trust, St Leonards, Nuttall Street, London N1 5LZ
Could there possibly be anything more to say about London's health services? First, we had the report of the first King's Fund Commission on London, London Health Care 2010,1 then the Tomlinson report,2 and then the government's white paper, Making London Better,3 which established the London Initiative Group and the London Initiative Zone for primary care development. All the reports stressed the need to improve primary care, especially the quality of general practice, the importance of rationalising and reconfiguring acute hospital services, and the need to reshape medical education and research to shift the focus of services towards community based rehabilitation and continuing care.
Huge efforts have been made in the past five years, but there is considerable scepticism that much has really changed. Plans to reconfigure acute hospital services have been stalled by local and political opposition and delays in agreeing funding through the private finance …