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Clinicians' input vital for successful health reforms

NHS Alliance warns that government 'command and control' will fail

OnMedica Staff

Monday, 07 June 2010

The coalition government needs to work more closely with clinicians to deliver health reforms.

This is the message of the NHS Alliance - the primary care organisation that brings together PCTS with practices and clinicans with managers and board members.

Dr Michael Dixon (pictured), chair of the NHS Alliance, today said: "Command and control won't work. What we need now is distributed leadership and trust.

"The new government has set a cohesive plan for health reform and is now reality checking it with senior managers and the Department of Health. But putting policy into practice is a completely different story. Unless the government is able to forge a meaningful relationship with the people who will carry the plan forward – i.e. frontline clinicians and managers – it will face real difficulties in delivering change."

The NHS Alliance warns against a top down approach in which instructions "cascade down to the frontline" and urges instead for a "cultural change".

"A new relationship is needed," explained Dr Dixon, "Structural and organisational changes alone won’t bring results, unless there is real a cultural change whereby frontline clinicians and managers are included and feel inspired to take the government’s agenda forward.

"Effective health policy means connecting with GPs, nurses, allied professionals and managers – inspiring, engaging and empowering them to do their job better. Saying it is not enough, the new government will need to show by its actions that it wants to connect, engage and form a partnership with those on whom a successful health service now depends. The NHS Alliance looks forward to working with the new government to make these things a reality."

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