Observations NHS Reform

The politics of the NHS’s next steps

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1717 (Published 05 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1717
  1. Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight
  1. andycowper@hotmail.com

Who has most to lose in a standoff between the NHS and government?

The first thing that was very telling about the politics around the release last week1 of the NHS’s Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View was who was doing the talking. The announcement of rationing decisions was heavily fronted by NHS chief executive Simon Stevens,2 rather than England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Insiders who attend Hunt’s weekly meetings with national NHS system leaders report that his enthusiasm for intervention with “non-performing trusts” is unabated. This enthusiasm has been joined, they say, by …

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