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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


2020health Press Release White Paper Essentials – the prescription needed for success

Julia Manning, Chief Executive of has today claimed there are 10 essential factors for the success of plans due to be outlined in today’s Health White Paper.

“To predict a failure of these plans before we have seen them is rather immature. But those of us who have worked in the NHS realise there are essential ingredients to ensuring the success of new plans for putting GPs in the driving seat of services to improve patient care”, says Julia Manning.

The essentials that she outlines are:

1. Say what you mean

Commissioning is buying, selling, planning, strategy, monitoring, evaluating, performance management, specialism appraisals, data collection, reconfiguration, IT systems? GPs can’t do it all - they should focus on what they do best – planning and providing improved care for their patients.

2. Mean what you said before

Don’t scrap PCTs – GPs will initially need the strategic Public Health advice, performance management, specialist services and evaluation they provide. But do allow the market to evolve so give GPs the freedom to decide whose advice to seek.

3. Be frank about sustainability

OK the White Paper won’t do this but it could hint that following Papers will address NHS scope. If we don’t tackle resource-draining demands then the NHS is simply unsustainable, no matter who plans the services.

4. Get rid of the old

If a new service in designed, the old has to go.

5. Adopt Treasury plans to reflect costs and benefits

Allow the DEL-AME switch so programmes for e.g. getting people back to work through, for instance, faster access to diagnostics or support from an organisation like Tomorrow’s People can be funded from projected savings.

6. Don’t blame the technology

Doctors will want to see patients for fewer, higher quality consultations and technology can facilitate this.

7. Freedom to thrive, transparency to reassure

For confidence to be built at all levels, including crucially with patients, the process of service procurement must be clear.

8. Realistic timeframes

None of this can happen overnight - unreasonable pressure should not be applied with a timeframe of anything less than two years. The fact that PbC is already a familiar concept to GPs means that the usual reduction in productivity that can result from reorganisations is not inevitable.

9. Accountability at last

Accountability is not a popular word in the NHS and its absence has led to mediocrity thriving and failures left until they are catastrophes. Processes for monitoring and evaluation are crucial.

10. Don’t miss this chance

Above all I hope that this White Paper will be the radical opportunity to bring clinical leadership to the fore of the NHS as never before.

A few thousand savvy GPs (the Consortium leads) now have the opportunity to shape care as never before. Those who succeed will be groups who understand the importance of relationships (with other hospital staff, management support and their patients), who listen to the strategic advice they are given, who insist that they are not there to pick up the pieces for every permutation of lifestyle, who engage the public, delegate to other competent professionals (optometrists, dentists and pharmacists, nurses) and embrace technology.

Notes to Editors


2020health is an independent, grass-roots, think tank for health and technology interested in realistic solutions.

What we do
• Identifying issues and bringing informed people together to create solutions.
• Demonstrating how to improve health and quality of life through successful commissioning, competition and technology.
• Exploring the benefits of public and private cooperation.
• Examining the consequences of healthcare decisions on society, lifestyle and culture.
• Ensure policy reflects grass-roots wisdom and experience of professionals.
• Broaden involvement and debate on key concerns to give value for money.
• Build on the achievements of the present to create the vision for improved healthcare.
• Combining the experience of practitioners, experts and policy makers in the public and private sector through projects, research publications and debates.
• Restoring trust, confidence and responsibility to professionals and enabling people to have their say through active participation and networking.
• Publicising our work through the press, events and meetings with policy makers.
We are based in the heart of Westminster.
Current Interests
Commissioning; Mental health; Elderly care; Work and wellbeing; NHS IT; Value-based pricing; Long term conditions; Health and social care integration.

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