The Simon Stevens Report on the NHS in England is a very good read. Despite all the dreadful lies and parodies of the NHS in Wales by Cameron and the Daily Mail there is a great deal in the Stevens Report which could well be applied to Wales.
The irony is that 10 years ago in Wales we were saying the exact things that Stevens is now saying. We said in our own Review of Health and Social Care in 2003, which stood alongside the Beecham Report on local services, that
– community led action to promote healthy life styles was the foundation to any successful NHS
– there needed to be diverse and locally imagined partnerships between health and social care which achieved integrated care packages devised by citizens
– there should be managed networks of care that crossed over local authorities, GP’s, local hospitals and specialist health centres.
The Stevens Report is about developing networks within and across communities as an alternative to more hierarchical or market driven systems. Wales was once pioneering this direction of travel and then along came Williams who first dramatically centralised the Wales NHS and now proposes the radical centralisation of all local services. The hierarchical prescriptions of Williams will divorce Welsh public services from their communities and prevent the forms of community engagement necessary to create positive life-styles and creative partnerships.