Welcome to my Blog. I hope you find the posts interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining(!). I'll update this Blog with my responses to topical stories of the day, important news and tales of my travels up and down the UK, meeting our inspirational nursing staff.

The RCN represents almost 400,000 nurses in the UK and is the country's largest nursing union.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

‘From good to great…’

The Department of Health has recently outlined its 5-year plan for transforming the health service from ‘good to great’. Its strategy is to make the NHS ‘preventative, people-centred and productive’.

The huge amounts of change that have already taken place in the NHS are a tribute to the hard work of healthcare professionals and policy-makers. Whether it has been the vast reduction in waiting times, or lowering mortality rates from cancer; we have seen huge progress and significant change already in the NHS.

However, an NHS that does not react to the changing needs of the patients and potential patients is an NHS that stands still. We must be constantly aspiring to advancement and improvement and questioning how we can make a good health service into something great.

I believe that it is through front-line staff and front-line services that great healthcare can be achieved. This is why it is so crucial that in the 5-year plan, the NHS has included a dedication to not cutting front-line services.

As demands on the health service continue to increase, we must never compromise care for cuts. The increasing burden of preventable health problems means that we must offer prevention rather than just cure. Alcohol and smoking each cost the NHS £2.7 billion a year and obesity cost £4.2 billion in 2007, a figure which is expected to rise to £6.3 billion in just five years.

The DH plan recognises that a forward-thinking health service must be patient-centred, focusing on care, compassion and choice. Together we can go from good to great, with nursing at the heart of this progress.

You can read the RCN response to the plan here and read the full 5-year plan on the Department of Health website.

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