NHS to push case for change12th September 2007
NHS head David Nicholson has said the service should prepare to put forward the argument for the need for changes in hospital care.
He told the BBC News site that staff had the chance to "convince the public of the need for change". He said arguments about deficits had previously "poisoned" the opportunity to discuss these changes.
His comments follow new proposals to remove responsibility for certain care service from hospitals and form much larger "regional centres" in England.
According to data published by strategic health authorities, the health service has 28 consultations planned which would affect hospital care. The plans include the closure of A&E units, changes to maternity care and the centralisation of certain services.
The government has said technical progress and EU regulations have meant the health service must consolidate services in order to provide improved standards of care.
This could force the closure of many general hospitals, with community care units expected to take responsibility for key services.
Mr Nicholson admitted that NHS trusts had found it hard to talk about changes because deficits had been "poisoning" the argument.
He said: "The context now we're operating in is completely different in which we were 12 months ago and I think that does open up a whole new set of opportunities for our relationship with general public."
He said he expected managers and doctors to "actively go out there and engage the public".
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Title: NHS to push case for change
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 4044
Date Added: 12th Sep 2007