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Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

National Health Executive ‘No more re-disorganisations’ of the NHS – Dorrell

The NHS must embrace the concept of commercialisation to boost innovation and save lives, delegates at a fringe debate of the Conservative Party annual conference heard.

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2020Health and Digital Life Sciences led a panel discussion around ‘Commercialising innovation in the NHS’, which highlighted some key barriers to better innovation and provided suggestions for a way forward.

Stephen Dorrell MP, chair of the health select committee, called for real change in the way healthcare was delivered to patients, rather than change in the statutory structures and reiterated the importance of “no more re-disorganisations” of the NHS.

He acknowledged that commercialisation could be a difficult concept for the NHS, but made the case that it “barely matters” to patients who provides their care; as long as that care is available on clinical need and matches high quality standards.

David Worskett, chief executive of the NHS Partners Network, agreed that it was important to get the best provider for healthcare – which could mean private companies. He discounted the common complaint that profit has no place in healthcare as “absolute nonsense” and called for better leadership to be developed, with people who understood the importance of commercialisation in innovation.

Shortening timescales for new drugs and medicines was also important for encouraging investment, Worskett added.