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

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

Just published

GMC sign

Gaps in GMC referral and exam pass rates for ethnic minority doctors falling, says GMC

Gaps in fitness to practise referrals and exam pass rates between doctors from white...

Pharmacy shelves

Menopause prescribing advice updated as HRT shortage continues

The British Menopause Society has recommended alternative options for prescribers...

GP sign

Using IIF cash to top up staff pay risks major gap in practice finances, warn accountants

GP practices could face a major cash shortfall in 2024/25 if they use investment...

Paxlovid – one of the treatments available for COVID-19

GPs could play bigger role in prescribing COVID-19 treatments from end of June

GPs could play a greater role in prescribing COVID-19 treatments to patients at risk...

Physiotherapist works with patient

Is the government right to claim its 26,000 additional roles target has been met?

Prime minister Rishi Sunak claimed last month that the government had met its manifesto...

Statement of fitness for work

GP training: Tips for completing FIT notes

GP trainer Dr Pipin Singh provides advice for trainees on how to complete fit notes,...