‘NHS Is Up For Change’ Simon Stevens Lays Out Plans For Reinventing System

New Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens expresses that the current NHS system is “outdated”, speaking to delegates at the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool. He outlined that treatment for patients should be tailored to individuals – to move from “carpet-bombing to precision-targeting”. Talking of how the NHS should be at the forefront of advances in treating patients based on their genetic make-up, he said “As we’re discovering with cancer, what we once thought of as a single condition may be dozens of distinct conditions.That will require much greater stratification in individualised diagnosis and treatment.’

He set out a number of steps that the health service needs to take to address challenges over the next five years:

“First, by improving the sophistication of our commissioning system. A new focus on outcomes for patients and value for taxpayers.

“Second, by accelerating the redesign of care delivery, with far greater local flexibility to meet the health and social care needs of the people we serve.

“And third, by actively exploiting the fundamental transformations now occurring in modern western medicine. Shifting the frontier of what is possible.”

Alzheimer’s Society comment:

‘It is a relief to hear Simon Stevens recognising that the current NHS system does not work for people with dementia and is willing to make much needed change. Outdated systems and structures mean our most vulnerable, people with dementia are too often let down. Because GP services and hospital care are so separate, let alone social care, there isn’t a holistic approach. The promise to redesign and personalise care delivery will help meet the complex needs of people with dementia.

‘Simon has a challenge ahead, but if the NHS, social services, charities, businesses and the community strive to work together better  we can get it right for people with dementia.’

Jeremy Hughes

Chief Executive Officer

Alzheimer’s Society