Headlines: May 11th, 2000

A short, sharp, consultation exercise has been launched to find out what the public, patients and staff want from the NHS in the 21st century.Next week, there will be a series of focus groups to explore with members of the public from all age ranges and backgrounds their priorities for improving the NHS. The following week, 12 million leaflets asking for views will be available in hospitals, every GP surgery as well as supermarkets and chemists on the high street. This will be followed by meetings in Leeds and London bringing together 100 people where they will have more time and information to consider issues and make their recommendations for the NHS. There will also be a ‘Census Day’ on 31st May to gather as many views as possible from the public, patients and staff. Throughout the consultation period members of the public and patients will also be able to send their views though the dedicated website : www.nhs.uk/nationalplan.

The results from the consultation will be presented to the six Modernisation Action Teams on 15 June. The work of the teams will be concluded in July with the publication of the NHS National Plan which will set out the strategic direction for the health service and the strategy for moving forward.