The King's Fund statement on Department of Health reconfiguration pledges

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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

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact the King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King’s Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.