'Leadership vacuum' in London may undermine financial performance

A 'leadership vacuum' in London could lead to a deterioration in financial performance and undermine efforts to tackle variations in quality, the King's Fund has warned.

Mr Ham: strategic leadership is particularly important in London as the challenges are 'more acute and urgent'.
Mr Ham: strategic leadership is particularly important in London as the challenges are 'more acute and urgent'.

The King’s Fund’s report Improving health and health care in London said it is unclear who will be responsible for improving Londoners’ health and healthcare following the abolition of the SHA and PCTs.

It warned that clinical commissioning groups are unlikely to be able to provide the leadership required as the groups will be small and their budgets lower than PCTs.

The report said: ‘There is a real risk of declining financial performance and a failure to tackle unacceptable variations in the quality of care in the reformed NHS. If this risk is to be avoided, there needs to be much greater clarity of roles and responsibilities.’

The King’s Fund is now calling on the government to outline who will be responsible for improving Londoners’ health and health care following the abolition of the SHA and PCTs.

King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham said while strategic leadership is important across the NHS, it is particularly important in London as the challenges are 'more acute and urgent'. 

He said: ‘London’s NHS is in urgent need of change, but the risk is no-one will be behind the wheel to push through the changes needed to improve patient care.

'New pan-London health organisations are emerging but none has a clear mandate to take the lead.'

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