NHS Confederation responds to health secretary's keynote speech at NHS ConfedExpo

Matthew Taylor responds to the speech delivered by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at NHS ConfedExpo.

15 June 2022

Commenting on the Secretary of State’s speech at the NHS ConfedExpo conference in Liverpool today, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Health leaders will be reassured that our health secretary recognizes the fantastic work they and their teams are delivering to make sure their patients get the care they need and they share his ambition to take this even further, while also ensuring every penny of investment is put to best use. The NHS is full of exceptional leaders but they cannot work miracles.
“There is a capacity gap across financial resilience, capital investment and workforce which needs urgent attention and we have heard the chief executive of the NHS say that the next 900 days are likely to be tougher than the 900 days of the pandemic before it. 
“Despite everything leaders are doing, 9 out of 10 members we surveyed recently told us their efforts to reduce waiting lists are being hindered by a decade long lack of investment in buildings and estates, and that they cannot transform patient services to meet the current Long Term Plan targets without further investment. 
“No healthcare leader wants the NHS to be seen as a bottomless pit and they are embracing collaboration, partnership-working and innovation to improve their services but these alone will not allow the NHS to match the growing demand and expectation from patients.
“This includes within primary care, which has returned to seeing a similar number of patients than before the pandemic while list sizes grow and GP numbers fall. Leaders agree that the primary care model needs to further reform, building on the work of primary care networks and the recommendations of Dr Claire Fuller’s Stocktake. 
“The NHS has a bright future ahead but we won’t get there until we have this realism from our political leaders.”