At the Big Tent Ideas Festival “The Future of the NHS” session, chair Mark Essex, director of skills at KPMG and Big Tent Advisory Board member, Paul Goldsmith, consultant physician and expert in complex systems, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the British Medical Association Council, and Stephen Smith, former chair of East Kent Hospital Trust discussed the vital question surrounding the future of the NHS.
In the session, the speakers addressed what we can learn from the current health crisis to make the NHS more effective and dynamic. The speakers were asked how we can ensure the organisation is effectively staffed and what are the new innovations on the horizon, which can change the way we care for health in future.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the British Medical Association Council, said: “There’s a lot of lessons to be learnt here. We must develop an NHS that has the equivalent number of doctors, hospital beds, and diagnostic services of other Western nations.”
Stephen Smith, former chair of East Kent Hospital Trust, said: “We have one of the most accessible, and in times of crisis, extraordinary healthcare systems in the world. Unfortunately, when you look at the performance of the NHS – even outside of COVID times – our outcomes in many areas are actually rather poor. The people are outstanding, but there is something wrong with the system. The problem is we have an overcentralised system that in times of crisis can deal with the crisis, but we now have seven million people on our waiting lists. Every winter, we have a crisis in the health service, not just because of a lack of funding but because of the way we run and the way we fund a health service.”
A full replay of the session can be found on the Big Tent YouTube channel