"NHS Suffers from Lack of Honesty"

24 June 2013

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"NHS Suffers from Lack of Honesty"

The head of the NHS Confederation, which represents the service's top managers, warns today that the health service is in turmoil because of poor practice on the wards and urgently needs a "more honest and transparent" relationship with patients.

"It is no surprise to me that many of the CEO posts in the NHS are vacant. The NHS is reeling from a series of problems that [are] a product of poor practice, or policy, and a lack of honesty about how the service operates and its financial context," he will say.

Farrar suggests the use of data in the health service as a way of reforming the NHS without reorganising it. "Of all the fall out from Mid Staffs, the massive opportunity of openness, transparency and engagement with patients and the public is the greatest," he says.

Farrar will say that parts of the NHS have been unable to work collectively - a reason "why urgent and emergency services are under so much pressure". According to a new survey of NHS trusts by the Foundation Trust Network, six out of ten trusts expect the coming winter to be worse than 2012-13. His intervention comes as fresh warnings emerge that the winter coming is likely to intensify pressure on accident and emergency wards.

Four in ten trusts said that more seriously ill patients are causing system overload and a third pointed to failures of GPs and social care services. The FTN's new report, Emergency Care and Emergency Services 2013, reveals that 72% of trusts believe the accident and emergency system is at a tipping point.

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