Commenting ahead of the launch of Lord Darzi’s interim report Our NHS, Our Future, which includes the announcement of a new Health Innovation Council, King’s Fund chief executive Niall Dickson (pictured) says:
“An additional investment of up to £100 million on innovation in health services must be welcomed.
“It is true that take-up for new technology has sometimes been patchy across the NHS. But we really need to see further detail of how this proposed new body will operate alongside the other organisations currently charged with the assessment and promotion of best practice in the health service.
“It has not yet been made clear how the creation of yet another central organisation will help.”
By contrast, Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the British Medical Association’s GPs’ Committee, says: “We are particularly pleased that Lord Darzi does not want to impose change from the centre, and we agree that effective change needs to be led locally and driven by clinicians, and others, working in partnership.”
Sue Hodgetts, Chief Executive of the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM), warned that managers should not be forgotten.
“As a practicing clinician, health minister Lord Ara Darzi has, understandably, approached his task from that standpoint,” she says.
“Ultimately though, it will be the forgotten tribe of the NHS, the healthcare manager, who will be expected to deliver a complex and sometimes controversial agenda.
“While the IHM agrees that it is important to take onboard the views of clinicians and patients, Lord Darzi needs to get NHS managers onboard too, and that calls for more consultation with our members who are anxious to contribute to the development of Our NHS Our Future.”
Dr Jonathan Fielden, Chairman of the BMA’s Consultants Committee, says: “Consultants as leaders and innovators in healthcare delivery will welcome the change of focus towards high quality patient-centred care.
“However, it is vital that this change in language at the centre translates into practical freedom for clinicians on the ground, so they can work with patients to make the NHS a truly world-class service.”
Dr Anita Holdcroft, Co-Chair of the BMA’s Medical Academics Committee, comments: “The BMA believes that research for patient benefit underpins the delivery of high-standard healthcare. We are pleased that a new Health Innovation Council will be set up and we look forward to working with Lord Darzi on this venture.
“The additional funding for innovation, particularly in diagnostics, will not only benefit patients but will also help train academic staff and tomorrow’s doctors.”