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Johnson announces “unprecedented” NHS review

4 July 2007

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The new Health Secretary Alan Johnson is already making his mark, announcing today plans to carry out an unprecedented review of the NHS.

Mr Johnson has asked health minister Professor Sir Ara Darzi is to lead the review and  report back his findings before July next year.

The review will tackle patients, doctors and nurses with the aim of ensuring that clinical decision making is central to the future of the NHS.  

Professor Darzi is to examine how the NHS can provide better access to safer, higher quality care while still delivering “value for money” for taxpayers.

It is indicated that Professor Darzi will consider delivering more accessible and convenient care across both primary and secondary providers.

He also plans to deliver joined up services for those suffering from long-term or life-threatening conditions.

Gordon Brown said: “The review will undertake an unprecedented process of engagement and consultation with NHS staff up and down the country in order to establish how best to involve them in the change we want to deliver in the NHS.

“We need to do much more to empower staff, to give them the time with patients that they need to improve care, to put them in the lead in developing ideas on improving patient care, and to respect their professionalism.”

Mr Johnson agreed that the time was right for change, saying: “This review will … enable us to establish a new and lasting settlement for a publicly funded and locally accountable NHS for the decade ahead.”

Department of Health

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“We are all sick to death of change. We need a period of consolidation and stability. I don’t even know where to find people yet at our ‘new’ PCT. Alan Johnson needs to talk to the people at the coalface in primary care and LISTEN” – Name and address supplied

“Where has Mr Johnson been in the last 10 years? The NHS has been through change after change after change. If he can guarantee to hold his job for the next decade then it might do some good, otherwise its a case of “here we go again” – Richard, Devon

“The government needs to listen to people at grassroots level – do they actually know what is going on in primary care? I think things will actually get worse very quickly” – Ann Sisson, Suffolk

“This is just Labour party spin AGAIN – NOTHING will happen just a repetition of what has gone before. I would be very happy to be party to this exercise if only to ensure that real people are consulted” – Margaret Hooper, Lowestoft

“I agree with Margaret. I would like to be consulted and have input, otherwise we will just get more of the same” – Sarah Price, Kent