Prime minister David Cameron will today launch the latest stage in the listening exercise designed to inform the development of the government’s NHS reforms.
The NHS Future Forum will continue to be chaired by Professor Steve Field, the immediate past chair of the Royal College of GPs. Membership of the forum has been expanded to over 50.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley told the Health Select Committee in July that the second stage of the listening exercise would focus on three areas: education and training, information and public health.
A fourth strand has been added, focussing on integration. An emphasis on integrated care – to some degree in opposition to the reforms initial prioritising of competition – was a key note of the Future Forum’s first report.
The Forum’s integration workstream will study integration between health and social care, as well as within the NHS. It will be co-chaired by Geoff Alltimes, chief executive of Hammersmith Borough Council and Dr Robert Varnam, a GP who led on commissioning for the RCGP.
It is hoped the workstream’s recommendations will feed into the government’s forthcoming white paper on social care, as well as into its response to the Dilnott review on long term care.
The information workstream will be co-chaired by Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of patient group National Voices and Professor David Haslam, president of the British Medical Association.
The education and training workstream will be chaired by Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The public health workstream will focus on the NHS’s contribution to public health. It will be chaired by Vicky Bailey, chief operating officer of commissioning social enterprise Principia and Ash Soni, the Professional Executive Committee chair of NHS Lambeth.
All of the workstreams have been charged with reporting in autumn, but it has not been decided if they will report separately or together.
Those joining the forum include Dr Robina Shah, chair of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust; Dame Philippa Russell, Chair of the Government’s Standing Commission on Carers; Paul Hodgkin founder and chief executive of website Patient Opinion; Tom Riley, chief executive of Tameside and Glossop Primary Care Trust; and Jane Cummings deputy chief executive of NHS North West.