Headlines: July 20th, 1998

Modernising the health service is about more than more new technology, says the head of the NHS Executive.

Chief Executive Sir Alan Langland said: “Modernisation is more to do with giving access to service and responding to needs, rather than developing high tech operations or using information technology, although these have part to play”.

Sir Alan was addressing a meeting of the London Business School and the Strategic Planning Society and he described the challenges of galvanising effort in an organisation employing 1 in 20 of the working population and spending one thousand pounds per second.

The way forward for modernisation is still being charted, but the White Paper ‘The New NHS’ and the Green Paper ‘Our Healthier Nation’ mark out some of the route.

Missing pieces of the jig saw will emerge with the next White Paper on Social Care, which will set out the ground rules for closer working between health and social services. There are likely to be provisions for pooling budgets and greater investment in cross boundary activities.