Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, has emerged as a key player in delivering the policy and resources changes for the Government to determine in the autumn budget review especially with regard to social care. He was involved in a lengthy meeting at Downing Street with the Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary of State last week prior to the Prime Minister’s announcement of an extra £384 million a week for the NHS.
As a civil servant Stevens is not free to engage directly in the political debate but nevertheless he has a long summer ahead of him working on how the NHS can square the circle on improving both NHS England and achieve greater integration with social care taking into account the role of local authorities.
Last week Stevens addressed the issue of NHS funding at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester where he said that it was a “tremendous economic bargain” at £6.60 per person per day, 30 per cent less than the spending in Germany. However, he added, it would need “a change of gear” to cope with future challenges, including a move away from the use of outpatient clinics to monitor long-term conditions.