Government has “systematically underestimated” cultural shift needed to implement reforms

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 18 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d330
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The UK government’s planned reforms of the NHS in England carry a very high level of risk, says the membership body representing most NHS organisations, the NHS Confederation, in a new report.

The “biggest shake-up of the NHS in its history” will succeed only if a series of demanding conditions is met, it says. The report, which resulted from a meeting of doctors, managers, and NHS experts at Leeds Castle in November, says that a degree of optimism is needed to assume that this will be possible.

The greatest problems lie in the implementation of the reforms and in trying to carry them all out at once and in such a short time, the group concluded. It warns the government that this will be “extraordinarily risky.”

The reforms, to be outlined in more detail in the Health Bill, expected to be published …

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