Nick Clegg and Paul Burstow attended the first NHS listening event set up specifically to hear patients’ views on NHS modernisation, in London yesterday. Health secretary Andrew Lansley visited a GP consortium to hear staff and patient views.
The event – of which 119 have so far been set up – took place three weeks after the Government openly acknowledged the widespread public hostility to its proposed reforms, and said that it needed to “pause, reflect and improve upon” its proposals for NHS reform.
It asserts that the events will be used as a genuine opportunity to listen and respond to patients’ views.
The deputy prime minister and care services minister were at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital with Professor Steve Field, former RCGP chair and now chair of the NHS future forum, to listen to local patients’ views and discuss plans for modernising the NHS. They also took a tour of the stroke and outpatient units.
Nick Clegg said after his visit: “We want to make a real difference for patients and listening to them is the only way we are going to make this happen.
“I’ve learnt a lot today about how the public feels about our changes to the NHS and I’m confident that by taking this chance to pause and really engage with staff and patients, we can ensure that we modernise the NHS to improve the health service for everyone.”
After his visit to the Victoria GP Consortium, to hear from both staff and patients, Andrew Lansley said: “I’m pleased to have been able to hear the views of more staff as part of the opportunity we are taking to pause, listen, reflect and improve our plans.
“Consortia will play a crucial role in delivering NHS plans to modernise and improve the service, so it’s important they have the opportunity to voice their opinions and help to shape any changes that are made.”