How resilient is the NHS?

Thursdays 4, 11, 18 July, 6-8pm with reception to follow.

Entry is free but please register for each talk using the details provided through the weblinks below.

The NHS is suffering interesting times: headlines – rightly or wrongly – proclaim system-wide crises of compassion, along with production-line collapses in A&E, and the imminent privatisation of the NHS. These allegations shock us, born as most of us were into the NHS, and brought up with it, we expected it would one day be the compassionate place where we would die. But will the NHS as we knew it die first?

Nigel Lawson once called the NHS “the nearest thing the English have to a religion”, sarcastically perhaps, but his words ring true because the NHS is deeply rooted in timeless values of social solidarity and public benevolence, in being part of a humanitarian whole where profit would never be put before people. In a free-market world is the NHS a sacred relic of less selfish times, or just a relic of a bygone age which should go the way of all dinosaurs?

For the NHS to survive in the wake of its latest and greatest re-organisation, it will have to set a course between these two extremes. Much will depend on how the new clinical commissioning groups, wellbeing boards and local authority public health directors pull together so that a viable locally organised, patient-centred healthcare system can emerge. The challenge right now though is how to get there from where we are; not simply how to create the compassionate NHS so beloved of Whitehall rhetoric, but to enable whole new compassionate communities to emerge and engage with the NHS they co-own.

Thursday 4 July. Chaired by Prof Michael Dixon
The new clinical commissioners – can they commission caring and compassionate services?
Professor David Colin-Thome (former National Clinical Director for Primary Care)
Paul Corrigan (former PM’s special health advisor)
6-8pm, University of Westminster 115 New Cavendish Street.
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Thursday 11 July. Chaired by Prof David Peters
Care and Compassion – how can leadership, clinical teaching and neuroscience help them flourish in the NHS?
Paquita de Zulueta (GP, London Deanery, Human Values in Healthcare)
Prof Aidan Halligan (Director of Education, UCLH NHS Trust)
Dr Tamara Russell (Mindfulness Centre of Excellence)
6-8pm, University of Westminster Marylebone Rd.
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Thursday 18 July. Chaired by Prof Michael Dixon
Building caring and compassionate communities: what works?
Dr Brian Fisher (GP and Centre for Welfare Reform)
Hazel Stuteley (Programme Director Connecting Communities, Peninsula Medical School)
6-8pm, University of Westminster Marylebone Rd.
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