The first major interview with new NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens was met with a range of reaction - largely positive - from NHS and political leaders. Here are some highlights.
The Federation of Specialist Hospitals published a statement welcoming Mr Stevens’ indication in the interview that the previous NHS England plan to concentrate specialised services into “15 to 30” centres was being rethought.
The statement said: “In [the interview with] HSJ, the new chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, described the organisation’s previous guidance on reducing the number of specialised centres as merely ‘a conversation opener’.
“While supporting the reorganisation of specialised services where appropriate, the federation recently published a report on the outcomes achieved by specialist hospitals and publicly cautioned against centralisation of services in a small number of large centres. In welcoming this new approach, the federation looks forward to working with colleagues throughout the NHS to bring fresh thinking to bear on the challenge of combining specialist excellence with maximum accessibility.”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, former Labour health minister Philip Hunt, now shadow deputy leader of the Lords, said of the interview: “A thoughtful approach: Simon Stevens first interview: parts of the NHS must be completely reinvented.”
Sarah Jane Marsh, chief executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust, cited Mr Stevens comment that “rather than talking about failing institutions, perhaps we need to talk about pressurised health economies” - she added: “Yes please. Would boost morale.”
Serco Health director John Myatt said: “Exciting to see Simon Stevens advocating a broader role for smaller hospitals in local communities.”
Chris Hopson, chief executive of Foundation Trust Network, declared: “Agree with Simon Stevens who said in today’s HSJ that ‘NHS done incredibly well during five-year period of austerity in maintaining fundamental performance standards.’”
Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, tweeted: “NHS re-organisation Round 2. What a mess they made > ‘@HSJEditor: NHS England set to drop key functions under Stevens’ refocusing of org’”
Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said in relation to the interview he had: “Argued on BBC news channel that Simon Stevens both conservative (save local hosps) and radical (transform out of hosp care).”