This time last year, Simon Stevens was appointed Chief Executive of NHS England. His tenure started on 1st April 2014. Last week, on 23rd October 2014, Stevens set out his vision for the future of the NHS in a document entitled “NHS Five Year Forward View”.
The context for the document was set out in the foreword:
“The NHS may be the proudest achievement of our modern society.
“Our nation remains unwavering in that commitment to universal healthcare, irrespective of age, health, race, social status or ability to pay. To high quality care for all.
“Our values haven’t changed, but our world has. So the NHS needs to adapt to take advantage of the opportunities that science and technology offer patients, carers and those who serve them. But it also needs to evolve to meet new challenges: we live longer, with complex health issues, sometimes of our own making. One in five adults still smoke. A third of us drink too much alcohol. Just under two thirds of us are overweight or obese.
“These changes mean that we need to take a longer view – a Five-Year Forward View – to consider the possible futures on offer, and the choices that we face. So this Forward View sets out how the health service needs to change, arguing for a more engaged relationship with patients, carers and citizens so that we can promote wellbeing and prevent ill-health.”
The three main arguments
In the 16 point Executive Summary, Stevens summarised the three main arguments proposed by the “Five-Year Forward View” (all sections in bold are the document’s own emphasis):
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