News story

Health Secretary sets out ambition for a 21st century NHS

Jeremy Hunt sets out the government’s vision for a patient-led, transparent and safer NHS.

Mr Hunt said that the NHS needed a profound culture change which puts power into the hands of the millions of patients who use the NHS every day, enabling them to make informed choices about the services they use.

Mr Hunt called for a step change in transparency – what he referred to as ‘intelligent transparency’. He said that by next March, England will become the first country in the world to publish avoidable deaths by hospital trusts as well as ratings on the overall quality of care provided to different patient groups in every local area.

Read Jeremy Hunt’s speech

Mr Hunt also announced:

  • the need for a proper 7-day NHS service to ensure patients are as safe at weekends as they are during the week, which would be achieved by removing the opt out clause for weekend working for newly qualified consultant
  • the NHS will become the world’s safest and largest learning organisation through the establishment of NHS Improvement – the new name for the jointly led TDA and Monitor
  • NHS Improvement will host a new Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service – modelled on the air accident investigation branch used by the airline industry, which will be led by Dr Mike Durkin
  • for the first time, GPs will be asked to inform patients of the Care Quality Commission rating and waiting time data at hospitals, enabling patients’ to choose with a more accurate picture of their local hospitals performance and quality
  • meaningful choice and control for patients over services offered in maternity, end of life care and long term conditions
  • work to be led by Martha Lane Fox to increase take-up of new digital innovations in health

Mr Hunt also discussed Lord Rose’s report into leadership in the NHS which was be published today.

The government’s response to the Freedom to Speak Up consultation, Morecombe Bay investigation and Public Administration Select Committee reports from the previous parliament was also published today.