Chief executive defends NHS against 'Celine Dion' claim

NHS chief executive David Nicholson has defended the organisation of the health service amid calls from all sides to completely reorganise its structure.

David Nicholson: it is possible for clinicians and managers to save the NHS from its economic woes
David Nicholson: it is possible for clinicians and managers to save the NHS from its economic woes

Speaking at the NHS Alliance's annual conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Mr Nicholson said it was ‘perfectly possible' for clinicians and managers to drive up efficiency and save the NHS from its economic woes.

But the NHS Alliance is calling for an immediate end to Payment by Results and for primary and secondary care to share budgets instead. Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb agreed and went further, calling for the abolition of strategic health authorities too, while health economist Alan Maynard said PCTs could be abolished instead.

NHS Alliance primary care lead Dr David Jenner told delegates, who agreed unanimously, that Payment by Results was ‘bankrupting the NHS'.

‘We've all agreed Payment by Results isn't working. But the government are already planning next year's tariff. It's like Celine Dion; it just goes on and on,' he said.

Earlier NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon attacked senior figures in the NHS as ‘an autocracy of senior managers...a ruling elite from the acute sector' who had neglected primary care.

‘The consequence is all sorts of expensive and ineffective councils, boards and initiatives that do too little to support or meet the concerns of ordinary patients, clinicians and managers at the frontline of primary care.'

On Wednesday health minister Mike O'Brien and Conservative shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley will address the conference.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Child coughing

NICE traffic light tool that helps GPs spot seriously ill under-5s 'unreliable'

NICE's 'traffic light' system - intended to help GPs indentify risk of serious illness...

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

GMC sign

Overseas-graduate GPs fare worse in medical tribunals due to lack of legal help

UK GPs who graduated overseas face worse outcomes in GMC cases because they are far...

Woman using HRT patch

Practical advice for GPs on prescribing HRT

GP menopause specialists Dr Louise Newson and Dr Olivia Jones provides an overview...

NHS logo on tiled wall

PCNs falling short on 26,000 staff target and need more flexibility, GPs warn

Government plans to bring in 26,000 staff by 2024 to support general practice are...

Talking General Practice logo with picture of Dr Ed Cantelo and Dr Tommy Perkins

Podcast: How two GPs set up a business to advise doctors about finance

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Tommy Perkins and Dr Ed Cantelo from Medics...