THE National Health Service is one of our most precious institutions.
We all know it because we have all been touched by it.
I will never forget the care my son Ivan received and the inspirational people who helped Sam and me through the difficult times. The consultants, the community nurses, the care team — they all became part of our lives.
With experienced support and dedicated professional care like that, you know just how special it is. So I yield to no one in my love of the NHS.
But we don’t demonstrate that love by covering up things that go wrong. Or by pretending the NHS can just ignore the big challenges it faces.
There are huge issues to solve, such as how we provide proper personal care for frail and elderly people.
Or how we ensure the NHS is equipped to go on delivering the groundbreaking advances in medicine on which we all depend.
So today, as we celebrate the 65th birthday of this national treasure, we are doing three things to make sure the NHS remains respected the world over for generations to come.
Firstly, we are going further than ever before in finding — and fixing — things that are going wrong.
We have created a new job of Chief Inspector of Hospitals and are giving proper protection to whistleblowers who expose poor quality of care — and the culture of secrecy that so fatally undermined the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.
Our surgeons and GPs are beginning to share data on outcomes more freely than anywhere else in the world.
And our Friends & Family Test gives patients and staff a chance to say whether they would recommend a hospital to their loved ones.
All that information will be published, with real consequences for the hospital’s board if figures are bad.
Don’t let anyone tell you that being on the side of patients means we are AGAINST doctors, nurses and care assistants. They want what is best for their patients, too.
They want to give patients the personal and compassionate care they need. They are horrified when things go wrong — and just as determined to expose problems.
It is staff, after all, who have acted as whistle-blowers. So helping patients means empowering the professionals to put patients first.
Secondly, we need a radical transformation of how care is organised away from hospital. This is especially important for vulnerable older people.
In hospital, you know who is responsible for your care — the matron on the ward, the doctors and nurses.
But when you are caring for an elderly relative at home, it is different. You talk to the hospital, the nursing home, the GP practice and the council.
All do vital jobs — but there is a problem. In theory, everyone is responsible. But in practice, NO ONE is.
We are changing that. Each vulnerable older person will have a named clinician responsible for them at all times when they are out of hospital — whether at home or in a care home.
Thirdly, a world-class NHS needs world-class medical science. Our work unravelling DNA is among our proudest scientific advances, helping us understand the cause of diseases and design new treatments better tailored to individual patients.
We must build up a database of DNA genomes — our biological codes, if you like — so we can lead the world in this work.
Recently, I met a researcher looking at these codes and trying to crack Ohtahara syndrome, which is what Ivan suffered from. Imagine the lives we can transform if we get this right.
So I am delighted that Sir John Chisholm is to lead Genomics England, a new body providing investment and leadership to support the sequencing of genomes more quickly and at lower cost.
Over the next five years, our ambition is for the UK to sequence more genomes than any other country.
That is my vision for the future of the NHS: compassionate, personalised, state-of-the-art care, on the side of patients and professionals.
It’s what patients expect. It’s what doctors and nurses want. And it’s what this Government is delivering.
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4998070/David-Cameron-will-not-ignore-the-challenges-facing-the-NHS.html#ixzz2YHVyOOsq