Commenting on the Department of Health's publication of 'Leading Local Change', which contains five pledges to the public and staff on how the NHS will handle changes to services, The King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:
'This is good first step. We welcome Lord Darzi's commitment to avoid a national blueprint and to ensure that any future changes to services are clinician led, with the needs of patients paramount and the interests of local people taken into account.
'We have a health system that must change, and some of that change will be challenging. Where the evidence is strong those responsible at a local level should move forward with confidence, where it is weaker, there must be a commitment to pilot and evaluate new ways of delivering care.
'The difficult part is always going to be moving from broad principles to real services – that involves balancing arguments about quality, access and cost, reconciling different interests and taking account of local people's views. Real political courage and commitment will be needed to achieve this and to make our health system more effective and more responsive.
Notes to editors:
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