NHS chief wants return to community hospitals

Hospital image

Simon Stevens wants local hospitals to play central role in NHS

The new head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, believes that smaller, community hospitals should once again take centre stage in our healthcare system, especially for the care of elderly patients.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Stevens revealed that he would promote a shift in policy that would steer the NHS away from large, centralised hospitals, and instead focus on new models of care around smaller, local hospitals.

This goes against recent positive comments about centralised services, which have seen results in areas such as stroke care and major trauma where significant benefits have been gained by concentrating specialist care.

Closer to home

Stevens has said that smaller, local hospitals would enable our growing ageing population to be seen nearer to home, making it easier for them. It would also address the future of many smaller district general hospitals across the NHS.

He said “A number of other countries have found it possible to run viable local hospitals serving smaller communities than sometimes we think are sustainable in the NHS. Most of western Europe has hospitals which are able to serve their local communities, without everything having to be centralised.”