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Think tank PHG Foundation urges UK government to deliver "transformational change" in NHS

Published on 11/05/17 at 11:14am

Joining the wave of associations and organisations vocalising the needs of the health and life sciences industries in the run-up to the general election on 8 June, Cambridge-based health policy think tank the PHG Foundation has released an open letter to politicians outlining its recommendations for the coming year and beyond.

Like many other institutions, PHG placed much importance on the central role of the NHS in a successful overall strategy. The letter read: “a critical priority for the new Government will be dealing with the crisis facing the NHS, not only the immediate pressures on an over-burdened service, but also the looming threat of increasing demand and spiralling costs.”

The letter noted the necessity of “transformational change” to address these “mighty challenges”, invoking the House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS, released a month earlier which slammed the ‘short-termism’ inherent in the health service in its past and current state.

The letter divided its recommendations into three key priority areas: individuals, calling for a patient-centric approach which hinges on the use of precision and personalised medicine; information, encouraging the sharing of personal data for the public good; and infrastructure, facilitating radical change to innovate the NHS and provide support and education for healthcare professionals.

“Finally,” the letter noted, “it is vital that the UK retains its global eminence in not only developing but also making use of innovative technologies for health. Brexit poses valid concerns that will need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, to ensure that the UK can attract and retain the best scientific and medical talent. It will also be important to swiftly clarify regulatory requirements for biomedical, pharmaceutical and technological research pertaining to health.”

On release of the letter, PHG Foundation Director Hilary Burton commented: “Good health is important to all citizens but too many miss out on the fantastic potential of new technologies to diagnose and treat disease. We are asking a new Government to push forward with radical changes for healthcare that puts individuals at the centre and builds on our greater understanding of science to provide high quality healthcare for the 21st century.”

Matt Fellows

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