Matt Custance, a partner in KPMG’s healthcare practice,highlights how the current multi-layered approval system is hindering opportunities to create a healthcare system fit for twenty-first century needs.
Speaking at a conference convened to discuss the future of the NHS estate, Matt Custance, a partner in KPMG’s healthcare practice, urged professionals across the public and private sectors to stop focusing on historical differences and, instead, find ways to build partnerships based on trust and a mutual desire to improve patient care.
Addressing senior leaders from a range of backgrounds that included NHS clinical staff, CCGs and private sector healthcare providers, he also highlighted how the current multi-layered approval system is hindering opportunities to create a healthcare system fit for twenty-first century needs.
Matt Custance said: “KPMG’s monthly survey of the jobs market has consistently highlighted demand for highly trained staff across the NHS. Couple this with its well-known financial constraints, the general public’s support for the NHS and their preference for a healthcare system free at the point of service, and it quickly becomes clear that the public and private sectors will do better in partnership.
“Rather than seeing each other as adversaries, now is the time to pool resources and expertise so that the needs of patients come first. At its most basic level, this calls for a change of culture; one in which managers in both the public and private sectors take a fresh look at the risks that have historically held them back and, instead, engage with each other to resolve problems. We need to build a culture of informed trust.
“This means that central NHS bodies need to place more confidence and reliance on local NHS management to solve problems locally. Guidance and regulation currently require far too many separate approvals from far too many bodies.
”A culture of informed trust is also critical to the private and public sector working together. There are some great examples of the private sector working co-operatively with the NHS to deliver great outcomes – but the only way to get to this point is for both sides to talk openly about their needs.
“Real partnering also means walking away from accepted ‘no-go’ areas. Private sector funders have historically been reluctant to finance refurbishment of their existing estate – but surely, if that is the best value solution for the NHS, we need to find a way to make it work for everyone. Given that there is a large amount of vacant, unused NHS estate, we shouldn’t be replacing old estate with new unless that really is the best value solution.”
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.