Over 150 of the biggest names in the NHS and health sector gathered on Tuesday 9th September 2014 for a private meeting with Simon Stevens, CEO, NHS England at the CHN’s tenth anniversary event, organised by ZPB. What followed was a candid insight from Stevens and his audience of what the road ahead might look like for the NHS.
Stevens talked us through his priorities and challenges at typically breakneck speed, whilst effortlessly using personal anecdotes to tell the story of people struggling to navigate the overly complex nature of emergency care, thus bringing colour and insight into some of the problems the health system faces. Problems which can’t be solved by the NHS alone.
Stevens’ frank and at times challenging style – throwing questions back to individual audience members – was met with the robust and challenging Q&A session, which have come to characterise CHN meetings. In a meeting of equals, both intellectual and experience, the audience was engaged and relaxed with the man who seemed not to falter, remained refreshingly candid and took questions in his stride.
Stevens’ take home point of the evening was that of transformation not of restructure. If Stevens remains this calm, well informed and crucially, in touch with the issues and the people going forward, it might just well be possible to see this change come about.
For more on this talk, read Richard Smith’s recent blog on the BMJ.