Change portrayed as cuts misses the point

Guest Blog by Gail Beer, Consultant Director, 2020health.org

Another day another news story about the NHS, telling us this time that the service will be in crisis over cuts.  Yesterday it was Mid Staffs and the poor quality of care, an episode which took place at a time when money was swilling around,  a fact that is not mentioned.  Then there is the continuing fall out of the proposed changes to the NHS  by the coalition government.

There are any number of stories that undermine both public confidence in how we deliver care and cause concern to those working within the NHS, who like the public are confused and bewildered by the arguments and worried by the future. We seem to have forgotten that the NHS does a fantastic job every day and does satisfy millions of people.

However while the arguments rage and knocking of the NHS or its proposed reforms is a daily blood sport  we continue to loose sight of the real issue:  improvements are vital. If we are to continue to provide high quality care that is  free at the point of entry, keep up with rising demand and  deliver ever more sophisticated treatments then changing how, where and when we deliver care is essential.  We are in danger of  creating a climate where it is possible to believe that  any change is bad and unnecessary. We have to transform how we deliver care if we are to meet the increasing  demand and while debate is good and healthy we must be balanced and present both sides of the argument. By doing this we can start to make the right decisions today that will secure the future of the NHS for  those who use and work in it not only now but  for years to come.

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