This summer marks the halfway point in the NHS’s decade of austerity. Changing population needs and a prolonged funding squeeze have placed it under intense pressure. To borrow from the nation’s favourite slogan, the NHS needs to keep calm - but 'just carrying on' is not a sustainable strategy.
It is widely recognised that fundamental change is needed. The conundrum is why, given the consensus about this, has progress been so limited?
One of the reasons is that NHS policymakers have placed too much focus on the imperative to change as a driving force for transforming services, and too little on enablers of change. Now, more than ever, we need a new, systematic and comprehensive approach to supporting and implementing change in the NHS, accompanied by dedicated investment.