Organisations representing NHS patients and staff have met Prime Minister David Cameron and Government health ministers ahead of the publication of ambitious plans to reform the NHS.
Mr Cameron hosted a reception at Number 10 with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to mark the launch of the White Paper ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’ before visiting a London hospital to see patient care in action.
Mr Lansley announced details of the White Paper in the House of Commons this afternoon. It sets out how power will be devolved from Whitehall to patients and professionals.
The plans aim to ensure professionals are free to focus on improving health outcomes so that these are amongst the best in the world. Improving the quality of care will become the main purpose of the NHS.
Patients will also get more choice and control and the NHS will be streamlined with fewer layers of bureaucracy.
Read more about the White Paper on the Department of Health’s website
During a visit to The Royal Marsden hospital in west London this morning, the PM and Mr Lansley spoke to nurses about their daily concerns and held talks with senior hospital staff.
The PM said the NHS was the Government’s “number one priority”. He added:
It’s about getting rid of bureaucracy, putting power in the hands of the patients and GPs and cutting the costs of our bureaucracy by almost half over the next four years - and making sure that money goes into doctors and nurses and helping patients.