Delivering the highest quality of care for all, as good or better than any country in the world, must be a fundamental goal of the NHS, said Lord Darzi, as he publishes his interim report on the ‘Our NHS, Our Future’ review.
The report will set out his emerging vision to develop a universally world-class NHS delivering effective, higher quality services that are safe, personalised to individual needs, and equally available to all.
To achieve this, greater influence must be placed in the hands of local NHS staff and others working in partnership across the service, based on the best available evidence, using the latest technological innovations and responding to the needs of local communities.
Launching his report the Health Minister Lord Darzi said:
“Over the last three months, I have spoken to patients, the public and NHS staff and received thousands of letters and emails to inform the review.
“This interim report is the result of my discussions and sets out a vision for the next phase of the NHS. This vision for the future should not be just mine – or the Government’s – but a vision for the future of health and healthcare in England that is developed and owned by patients, staff and public together. At the end of the next phase of the review, I shall outline how we plan to make this vision a reality, in spring next year.
“This is not about imposing more change from the centre. Effective change needs to be led locally, driven by clinicians and others working in partnership across the service.”
Lord Darzi’s interim report highlights the importance of NHS innovation in health. It is part of a range of ways in which we can improve the care that patients’ receive and the quality of their lives. Key innovations in the NHS have already led to the development of life saving medicines such as new cancer drugs and devices such as stents (metal devices placed inside an artery during surgery to keep it open).
As an immediate step to improve innovation in the NHS a new Health Innovation Council will be established, together with a fund of up to £100m to help the NHS develop and deploy hi-tech healthcare such as medical devices and diagnostics.
Lord Darzi will become the Champion of Innovation, dovetailing this with his review of the NHS.
The new Health Innovation Council, to be chaired by Lord Darzi and drawn from NHS, academia, and industry, will specifically tackle the variable uptake of innovation and drive forward cost-effective innovation in the NHS.
Lord Darzi said:
“I want to see the UK become a world-leader in pharmaceutical and medical technology research and development, so NHS patients have access to the best innovative treatments and services.
“The new Health Innovation Council will provide leadership and advocacy with key decision-makers in the NHS on the benefits to patients, the NHS and the country, of adopting cost-effective new technologies and models of care.
Mark Walport, Director of The Wellcome Trust said:
“A greater focus on health innovation is good news for patients in the NHS. The new Health Innovation Challenge Fund, jointly funded and administered by the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health, will provide much needed resource to support the development of innovative technologies, devices and clinical procedures.
“Under the leadership of Lord Darzi, the Health Innovation Council will ensure that the NHS can benefit quickly from these advances. All of this builds on the excellence of the UK’s medical sciences.”