Will the White Paper work? A Health Secretary's guide to transforming the NHS

Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Rt Hon Alan Milburn
Friday 9th April 2021, 13:00
- 13:45

As part of our Resilient State programme, Reform is bringing together two former Health Secretary's to discuss the resilience of the NHS.

Confimed panellists:

  • Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Secretary of State for Health, 1995-1997
  • Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Secretary of State for Health, 1999-2003
  • Chair: Charlotte Pickles, Director, Reform

The pandemic has tested the resilience of every aspect of our health and care system. Despite the heroic effort of NHS staff and leaders, this crisis has exposed structural weaknesses in the Service: from discharging untested patients into care homes, through the too-slow response to PPE and testing, to stopping non-emergency care during the pandemic peaks. Ministers have recognised this and put forward a White Paper aimed at increasing accountability, boosting collaboration and integration, cutting bureaucracy and securing greater financial sustainability. But can they deliver?

NHS reorganisation is notoriously difficult, and success often rests on individuals and culture rather than structures. Different funding models for primary, acute and social care act as disincentives to integration, and the increasing demands of an ageing population is placing significant pressure on the Service.

This webinar will discuss the opportunities and pitfalls that lie ahead as the Government tries to reform the health and care system.