Fuse deputy director welcomes NHS chief executive to the North East

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS in England, was welcomed to Durham University Queen’s Campus by Fuse deputy director David Hunter to give a guest lecture in which he used the recently published Five Year Forward View to focus on the importance of public health and prevention.

Mr Stevens (pictured on the left of the photo) suggested that this part of the Forward View had received least attention and had 'got a bit lost'. He wanted to redress the balance since the section dealing with prevention is central to the future sustainability of the NHS. He presented these six ideas for consideration:

  • First, the health system had to be reconceptualised to focus on health and wellness.
  • Second, despite having a well-developed primary care system in the UK, its comparative advantages in terms of population health remained 'largely unexploited'. The 'inverse care law' persists and health gaps have widened.
  • Third, the NHS has significant economic impacts in the communities in which it functions and yet its role as a major purchaser and employer is not made use of to promote health.
  • Fourth, the NHS should set an example in terms of securing a better work-health balance - as an employer it was not very health-focused.
  • Fifth, the important role of local authorities in providing local democratic leadership for health is unparalleled.
  • Finally, a sense of place and place-shaping was vital in order to exploit the assets which existed and to design in positive health and wellness when it came to investing in local development.

Simon framed these six key challenges in the context of obesity and the need for a whole system perspective.  The lecture was arranged by Professor Hunter in his role as Director of the Centre for Public Policy and Health.

Read the Fuse blog on Mr Steven’s lecture written by Avril Rhodes and Professor Hunter

Last modified: Tue, 31 Jul 2018 09:13:16 BST