Dame Julie Moore, a former nurse and now one of England’s leading trust chief executives, has said there should be “one regulator” that brings together NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission.
Dame Julie told Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal that trusts were “over regulated”.
“There should be one regulator responsible for doing it all”
She said: “There should be one regulator responsible for doing it all [regulating quality and finance] and I think it needs to be proportionate and I think it needs to be much more intelligence led, and not so absolute in what it does.”
Dame Julie was last week highlighted by the Department of Health as an example of a clinician who had become a top NHS manager, as it announced a drive to encourage more nurses and doctors into senior leadership roles.
She spent 10 years as a nurse in clinical practice before moving into nursing management, and currently runs two foundation trusts – University Hospitals of Birmingham and Heart of England.
Last October, Dame Julie was appointed to lead the troubled Heart of England alongside her existing role as chief executive of University Hospitals of Birmingham. In September this year, the two trusts announced their intention to merge.
Talking about plans for improvement at Heart of England, Dame Julie said the trust needs “radical upgrades” to its buildings and equipment, and the first phase of development would need £200m in capital funding. This phase would include upgrading ambulatory care and diagnostic centres.
Dame Julie said the Department of Health and the Treasury had been “helpful” regarding the trust’s capital needs but a PFI type loan would also be needed.
Last month, she told the House of Lords long-term sustainability of the NHS committee there should be a government debate on how much public money is spent on the NHS.
Expanding on this point, Dame Julie said: “Personally, I think you should give higher taxation… The issue is if we’ve increased our life expectancy by about 10 years, then the debate has to be with the public when we set the level of taxation at this [level of life expectancy].
“It’s a view for all of society to decide, via its elective representatives, how much money and how we’re going to fund [the NHS], but you can’t keep telling people to provide the same level, the same quality, the same quantity for less and less money, it’s not going to work,” she added.