Headlines: August 5th, 2003

Patients, user groups and NHS and social care staff are invited by NHS Chief Executive Nigel Crisp to take part in a national consultation exercise to look at ways in which the delivery of health and social care can offer more choice and become more responsive to patients. The exercise, which will help shape future national policy and plans will also seek views on how best to tackle inequalities with the aim of making sure that everyone can have good access to high quality health and social care.The NHS is growing fast and this growth provides the opportunity to find out what people want and offer more choice over care and more involvement in decision making. It also creates the conditions for bringing in more creativity and new ideas. The consultation will seek views on what is working well now and what is not working so well.

Harry Cayton, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society will lead the consultation process and join the Department of Health on a full- time basis. Nigel Crisp will chair the Project Board, overseeing the consultation, reporting to Health Secretary John Reid.