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70 years of the NHS

With so many big national events happening this year, I wonder who will sit back and think about the NHS and its incarnation in 1948.


70 years ago in post war England, the NHS was born. Launched at Park Hospital in Manchester (today known as Trafford General Hospital) by Aneurin Bevan who had a vision to bring good quality, free healthcare to all. It was designed to be free at the point of use, based on clinical needs and not simply wealth - and above all - fully financed through taxation. Doctors, Nurses, Opticians, Hospitals, Pharmacists where all brought together under one common organisation – and the National Health Service was born.

Over the years, the NHS has grown exponentially. It is unique in so many ways, but it has had to adapt and overcome many hurdles over the last 70 years. The patient population has grown from 50m in 1946 to 66m in 2018. It has seen continuous political interference and real-terms budget cuts. The cost of medicine purchase and administration has seen these costs soar whilst baseline medicines continue to become increasingly more complex.

As a nation we are getting healthier – but the demand on the NHS is increasing. Historically we may sit back and think that the NHS is renowned for providing a ‘cure’, it has actually been vaccinating people in a preventative approach since 1958, when the Polio and Diphtheria vaccinations programme was started. Now preventative measures are being brought in to help combat and better manage matters such as obesity, diabetes, age related ailments.

Let’s keep reminding ourselves that the NHS still aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism and in reality is living up to its core values.
What will the next 5 years of uncertainty hold for the NHS?

How can we ‘future proof’ what is the pride of the country and a world-renowned organisation?

Despite a growing workforce, NHS staff are under real pressure. The number and complexity of the patients cared for continues to increase. Some demographics/geographies and types of role are hard to recruit for in the traditional way – leaving positions vacant for long periods of time. Even more challenges arise from ongoing pay restraint and uncertainty for international staff.

I joined Interim Partners because they are the UK’s Number 1 provider of interim mangers. Interim Partners is equally as passionate about helping the NHS through change as I am, so the match was obvious. In an environment where clients want more for less, we need to accept and adjust to this change. I am keen to learn of your experiences of utilising interims that deliver better outcomes.

Our methodology – Return on Interim - enables us to do this. It defines, measures and demonstrates success. By starting with the endpoint - the desired outcome - and mapping out the best way to achieve it, we deliver results. It’s the methodology we follow to scope the challenge, define our clients desired outcomes, agree quantifiable objectives and measure performance.

The result? Better outcomes, delivered quicker, ensuring value for our clients.
Our four-stage methodology, which is outlined below, enables oversight and performance management of our associates to generate better outcomes:

Working with the most experienced and highly regarded members of our network we have created pools of executives looking to add value to organisations and bring about change.

I would welcome your views on the interim market and how I would be able to assist you in the future.


Andrew Saunders, Senior Consultant - Public Sector 

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