NHS Future Forum report welcomed by King's Fund, NHS Alliance and Labour

The NHS Future Forum report has been welcomed by the King's Fund, the NHS Alliance and the Labour party.

Prof Ham: ‘The ‘pause’ has served the NHS, its staff and patients well by allowing time to reflect on how to deliver the reforms the health system needs.
Prof Ham: ‘The ‘pause’ has served the NHS, its staff and patients well by allowing time to reflect on how to deliver the reforms the health system needs.

King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham said the report addressed key weaknesses in the original NHS reform proposals.

NHS Alliance chief executive Dr Michael Sobanja said the report showed the direction of travel of the NHS reform was right.

Professor Ham said its emphasis on integration is 'particularly significant', as strengthening collaboration offers the ‘most promising approach’ to meeting the future challenges in the NHS.

He said: ‘The ‘pause’ has served the NHS, its staff and patients well by allowing time to reflect on how to deliver the reforms the health system needs.

‘But it is now time to move on. The government must now move quickly to endorse today’s report, put an end to the disagreements that have dominated recent months and provide the direction and stability the NHS desperately needs to navigate the challenging times ahead.’

Dr Sobanja said: ‘We particularly welcome the support for clinically-led commissioning with clinicians and patients at the heart of the system,’ he said.  

But he also said the report highlights valid concerns that ‘need to be addressed, particularly around the plans for competition.

‘We now need to move on and create a robust framework which will allow the reforms to flourish,' he said. 'Further uncertainty would only cause more difficulties for managers and clinicians, whilst delaying the drive for efficiency.’

The Labour Party welcomed the report, outlining that it is a ‘demolition job’ on the government’s ‘misjudgements and mishandling of the NHS’.

Shadow health minister John Healey said the ‘big test’ was whether the legislation will be fundamentally re-written.

‘I welcome the report, which reflects many of the arguments Labour has been making since the autumn, and which have been opposed by the Tories and Lib Dems to date,' he said. 'We will judge the Prime Minister on what he does, not what he says.’

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