In this first lecture from the new University of Birmingham Centre for Health and Social Care Leadership, Dr Jennifer Dixon will set out lessons about how the NHS has developed since 1948 which might help to guide the next stage of progress towards its 100th anniversary. Progress has clearly been made in improving health, and developing many new health services, but a faster pace is now essential.
The NHS relies heavily on a national blend of nudges, including centrally driven regulation and inspection, top down performance management direction, financial incentives, and structural changes. The strengths and limitations of these are clear enough. What other approaches hold promise, for example using data, quality improvement, and combined clinical and patient know-how? Do we need a stronger consensus view on this, and if so how might managers and leaders in health care be more assertive about what is needed?
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