Darzi review has 'failed to move the NHS forwards'

The Darzi review 'hasn't moved the NHS on an inch', a leading NHS commentator has said.

'There was nothing in Darzi we did not know already,' said Roy Lilley, who was chairing the NAPC conference. 'If we had not had it I do not think it would have mattered a toss.'

Writer and broadcaster Mr Lilley criticised the document for 'playing it safe', and said measures such as extended hours had been more about headlines than service improvements.

'The report could have decoupled GPs from their list. He could have allowed dual registration or said patients can see any GP,' he said.

'The half a million people who travel into London every day still cannot see their GP.'

But Richard Lewis, a former King's Fund fellow now at accountants Ernst and Young, disagreed with Mr Lilley's remarks. 'There wasn't a lot of whizz bang in there, but I'm not sure the NHS needed whizz bang,' he said.

'There is now pretty much consensus about what should drive improvements. What was needed was consolidation.'

He also dismissed Mr Lilley's suggestion that patient satisfaction surveys showed extended hours were unnecessary.

'GPs and commissioners may point to the quality framework and say that quality is great, but politicians were hearing something different from the public.'

The NHS had to become less tolerant of poor practices, he added. 'GPs can no longer assume you have a job for life, because you haven't any more.'

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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