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Hunt outlines four ‘priorities’ for NHS

The new health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has outlined his priorities for the health service, in his first public address since taking over from Andrew Lansley.

Mr Hunt told a reception at the Conservative party conference on Sunday that he had identified four priorities for “the next couple of years”.

“It’s time to move the debate on to talk about outcomes,” he said. “After taking a lot of soundings I’ve decided to focus on four areas.

“The first is quality of care. Good quality care is as important as good quality treatment. We don’t always have great care quality,” he said.

The second priority was the “challenge of caring for people with dementia”, the third was “people with long-term conditions”, and the fourth was “mortality rates from the major diseases”.

Mr Hunt also called for “much greater integration and working between sectors” in health and social care, and said integration was “going to be as important as competition”.

He told delegates that taking on the role of health secretary was the “biggest privilege of my life”.

Readers' comments (3)

  • King Vulture

    'Mr Hunt also called for “much greater integration and working between sectors” in health and social care, and said integration was “going to be as important as competition”.'

    It is amazingly difficult to achieve 'integration' - everyone knows it is needed, nobody seems able to achieve it !

    'The first is quality of care. Good quality care is as important as good quality treatment.'

    Even ignoring the 'we don't have the time to care' argument, this difference between care (very hard to measure, except if you just ask the person being cared for for thier opinion: that is the new world-view, but not all clinicians are 100% behind it) and treatment outcomes (much more easily to 'objectively measure') is contentious, and complicated.

    Anyway, priorities are one thing - plans are quite another ! Almost everyone claims 'there is too much paperwork' but that 'acceptance' doesn't actually reduce the paperwork, does it ?

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  • Again a passive aggressive swipe at nurses by our latest Health Minister. Yes, there have been lapses in care in the NHS, but believe me I see more mistakes in treatment in a week then I would do in nursing care in a year.
    Say that to the medics though, Mr Hunt, and you would get free gender-realignment so that your surname could be changed by deed-poll to that of a certain ultra-offensive Anglo-Saxon word instead of just rhyming with it. " See you next Tuesday for your appointment", would be the consultants cry as they brandished the medical sheers.
    As for the four major points, the people within the second, third and fourth groups have about as much chance of getting medical insurance in the future as I have of going to Mars ( the planet and not the confectioners). This will lead to massive amounts of deaths in those groups freeing monies paid to the Social Security and pension funds so that rich, white dudes ( mainly) get even more tax relief on their aggressive tax avoidance schemes. After all, these are the "Job- creators" that the right wing so much loves. Of course, its a pity that these jobs are created in China and India, if only the lazy, feckless plebs in this country would be willing to see their children stitch together footballs by candle-light for 50p a day then they wouldn't have to move abroad to increase profits, and Britain could once again be great like during the industrial revolution, full of dark satanic mills. This time, though, our work-houses will have mission statements.

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  • Privatisations will trump integration and 'competition' under Hunt will be mainly about privatisation or turning FT's into going 'native' in a poorly regulated market.

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