Long live the NHS?

I have just been watching Sir Malcolm Grant speak about the appointment of Simon Stevens as the new head of NHS England. He talked about Simon being a global leader and he certainly is well respected on both sides of the pond. Unison are doing their bit to stir things up, worrying about American influences and privatisation (of course).

However Sir Malcolm didn’t repeat what he had said this morning on Radio 4 Today which got my eyebrows raised over my muesli “the NHS is living on borrowed time”.

Wow. That is quite a statement. Does he really think the NHS’s days are numbered? In its current form, many would agree – but that is very different from implying that it will go altogether. Simon (I am having to resist the urge to call him Sir Simon, but it can’t be long) has the difficult role of being the CEO whilst an awful lot of changes will have to be made. We do need to ask what the NHS is there for, and what role it should have in the years ahead. The public need to be told what they probably already know, that the NHS cannot go on doing everything for everyone. And Simon will need to preside over a sea-change in attitudes and activity. Unless and until we all become more involved in our personal and family’s health: monitoring, self-care, coordinating our medical and social care records, volunteering, self-pay etc the NHS will not be able to meet the needs to the most vulnerable who have no other option than to depend on professional services. So maybe the NHS is dead. But long live the NHS.


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
This entry was posted in NHS England, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s