Speaking at a conference convened to discuss the future of the NHS estate, Matt Custance, a partner in KPMG’s healthcare practice, urged professionals across the public and private sectors to stop focusing on historical differences and, instead, find ways to build partnerships based on trust and a mutual desire to improve patient care.
Addressing senior leaders from a range of backgrounds that included NHS clinical staff, CCGs and private sector healthcare providers, he also highlighted how the current multi-layered approval system is hindering opportunities to create a healthcare system fit for twenty-first century needs.
Matt Custance said: “KPMG’s monthly survey of the jobs market has consistently highlighted demand for highly trained staff across the NHS. Couple this with its well-known financial constraints, the general public’s support for the NHS and their preference for a healthcare system free at the point of service, and it quickly becomes clear that the public and private sectors will do better in partnership.
“Rather than seeing each other as adversaries, now is the time to pool resources and expertise so that the needs of patients come first. At its most basic level, this calls for a change of culture; one in which managers in both the public and private sectors take a fresh look at the risks that have historically held them back and, instead, engage with each other to resolve problems. We need to build a culture of informed trust.
“This means that central NHS bodies need to place more confidence and reliance on local NHS management to solve problems locally. Guidance and regulation currently require far too many separate approvals from far too many bodies.
”A culture of informed trust is also critical to the private and public sector working together. There are some great examples of the private sector working co-operatively with the NHS to deliver great outcomes – but the only way to get to this point is for both sides to talk openly about their needs.
“Real partnering also means walking away from accepted ‘no-go’ areas. Private sector funders have historically been reluctant to finance refurbishment of their existing estate – but surely, if that is the best value solution for the NHS, we need to find a way to make it work for everyone. Given that there is a large amount of vacant, unused NHS estate, we shouldn’t be replacing old estate with new unless that really is the best value solution.”
Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.