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Andrew Lansley MP talks at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre

Posted at 2:53pm 15th July, 2010

On the June 8th the MP Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, came to the Bromley-by-Bow Centre to announce his ambition to make the NHS a truly patient-centred service.

“Over these years, as Shadow Secretary of State, I have shaped a personal ambition.

An ambition rooted in the commitment to the core values of the NHS – of a comprehensive service, free at the point of use, based on need, not ability to pay.

But an ambition beyond that. Beyond achieving equity and the social solidarity of access to a National Health Service. My ambition is that we can achieve health outcomes – and quality health services – as good as any in the world. That we can achieve a unique combination of equity and excellence, including for the most vulnerable. An ambition for excellence. I’m buoyed by the knowledge that we have medics, nurses and scientists as good as anywhere in the world, I know that we can achieve this.

It is my passion. To back the NHS. To put my heart and soul into achieving success for the NHS, and for, you, the patients.

Over the last six years the key changes that will enable us to realise this ambition, have become increasingly clear.

These now represent our priorities for government:

First, that patients must be at the heart of everything we do, not just as beneficiaries of care, but as participants, in shared decision-making. As patients, there should be no decision about us, without us.

Second, that if we are to seek to achieve continuously improving outcomes, then that is what we must focus on. Not politically-motivated process targets, not simply measuring inputs or constant changes to structures, but a consistent, rigorous focus on outcomes – achieving results for patients.

Third we must empower professionals to deliver. This is the only way we can secure the quality, innovation, productivity and safe care, all of which are essential to achieving those outcomes.

Engaged and empowered professionals will deliver results. Disempowered, demoralised and demotivated staff will not.

Fourth, we must, as a society, do much better on the health and well-being of our families and our communities. Only by prioritising health and well-being and by preventing ill-health more effectively, can we achieve the overall health outcomes we seek, not just good health services but good population-wide health outcomes, and reduce the inequalities in health, which so blight our society.

Fifth, we must see the many links and connections between health and social care, seeing care in its wider aspects. Whether provided by their families, by carers, by support workers or by health professionals, all are part of a spectrum of care for those in need. Health and social care should be integrated more. And so we need to reform social care alongside healthcare, so that we can support and empower people – not least as individuals – to be more safe and secure and, themselves, to be able to exercise greater control over their care.

These will be our priorities. We will act across the breadth of health and social care to deliver these priorities and, in doing so, we will establish and embed the consistent, sustainable strategy for reform, which will give our services the long-term stability they have so desperately needed for so long.”

To read his speech in full, click here

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