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NHS England – formerly the NHS Commissioning Board – pledged to use all its powers to ensure that everything the NHS does is driven by the best interests of patients.
As the Government published its initial response to the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry, NHS England said it aims to help build an NHS that is safer, more compassionate and constantly improving.
It plans to do this by radically improving transparency, giving patients a stronger voice and putting clinicians in charge of key decisions about services.
NHS England will from next month take responsibility for ensuring the NHS uses its £95 billion budget effectively to get the best outcomes for individuals, communities and society. The Government announced its name change today.
Jane Cummings, the Chief Nursing Officer, NHS England, said: “We have to respond to Mid Staffs with clear action and not just with words in order to benefits all of the patients who need our care.
“The culture change we all want must be evident in every ward, clinic, consulting room and community setting, as well as every board room. It must run through the veins of a new NHS that is safer, more compassionate and constantly improving.
“There are so many NHS staff doing brilliant work for their patients. But we all know there is a serious job to be done to rebuild public confidence. The NHS must grasp this positively and seize the opportunity to drive change.”
Ms Cummings highlighted examples of how NHS England would contribute.
“We will use the voices of patients to change the NHS, starting with the friends-and-family test. We are planning to drive compassionate values into every corner, starting with implementation of the nursing strategy.
“We will bring a new focus on safety, drawing on the best international expertise and scrutinising NHS trusts with high death rates. And we are acting to make transparency the organising principle of the service, helping to raise standards.
“We are also putting power and funds in the hands of local clinicians, helping them provide the services they believe their patients need.”