The NHS at 70: How can the NHS survive and thrive for another 70 years?

A series of debates delivered in partnership by NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners, Royal College of Physicians, National Voices and Ipsos Mori

Wednesday 9 May 2018

18.00 (18.30 start) – 21.30 (including a networking reception)
11 St Andrews Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LE

The NHS is at a watershed moment as it approaches its 70th anniversary on 5 July 2018. It remains one of, if not the, most treasured institution in the UK. But it faces severe challenges from: rapidly rising demand for care from an ageing population with more complex needs, the increasing cost of new drugs and technologies, a workforce that is stretched to its limits and declining performance against key targets – all set against the backdrop of the longest financial squeeze in the NHS’ history.

Polling continues to show there is overwhelming public support for the NHS’ founding principles, and hope is offered through innovative new ways of working that are providing more joined-up care for the public.

But some want the NHS to reform faster and the government and public are now facing up to tough and unavoidable choices about the health service’s future.

This is the first of two debates that will bring together a panel of experts and commentators to give their views on the solutions they think are needed to ensure the NHS thrives for another 70 years.

The debate will be followed by a drinks reception and the chance to network with the panel and colleagues from across the health and care sector.

The second debate will take place on Wednesday 25 July at Radisson Blu in Liverpool. 





David Oliver
David Oliver

Clinical vice-president of the Royal College of Physicians

David has been an NHS doctor since 1989 and consultant Physician since 1998. He is the current elected clinical vice-president of the Royal College of Physicians, leading the Care Quality Improvement Directorate.

David is a visiting fellow at The King's Fund and visiting Professor at City University, London, alongside his clinical job as an NHS consultant in geriatrics and general internal medicine at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust where he led and developed services for several years. He was formerly a consultant and clinical director in south London. He was president of the British Geriatrics Society until 2016 and Department of Health National Clinical Director for Older People until 2013.

David writes professionally for medical and general publications, including since 2015 his weekly “acute perspective” column in the BMJ and blogs regularly for the King’s Fund. Academically, he has published more than 120 research papers, reviews book chapters and editorials.
Camilla Cavendish
Camilla Cavendish

Senior Fellow

Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

Camilla Cavendish is Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School. She was Head of the Number Ten Policy Unit under David Cameron, and now sits in the House of Lords as an independent peer, Baroness Cavendish of Little Venice.

She is an award-winning journalist and commentator, a former Times and Sunday Times columnist who comments regularly in the UK and US and is winner of the Paul Foot award for campaigning journalism and the Harold Wincott award for senior financial journalism.

Cavendish was a Non Executive Director of the Care Quality Commission 2013-2015. In 2013 she authored the independent Cavendish Review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and Social Care, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health.
Ben Page
Ben Page

Chief Executive

Ipsos MORI

Ben Page became Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI in the UK and Ireland in 2009. He joined MORI in 1987 after graduating from Oxford University in 1986, and was one of the leaders of its first management buyout in 2000.

A frequent writer and speaker on trends, leadership and performance management, he has directed hundreds of surveys examining consumer trends and citizen behaviour.

Ben has worked closely with both Conservative and Labour ministers and senior policy makers across government, leading on work for Downing Street, the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Department of Health, as well as a wide range of local authorities and NHS Trusts.
Anya de Iongh
Anya de Iongh

Patient Editor, British Medical Journal

Anya de Iongh is Patient Editor with The BMJ, supporting their work to develop patient partnerships across all aspects of the Journal.

She also supports self-management, locally in Dorset with service development and CCG roles as well as nationally working with Health Education England, and lecturing at a number of medical schools. Previously, Anya has supported CCGs and researchers with patient partnerships.

Her interest stems from her own experience of health conditions, which stopped her medical studies at Cambridge.
Polly Toynbee
Polly Toynbee



Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian and she was formerly social affairs editor for the BBC. She has written books on the NHS, adoption, unskilled work and inequality. Her most recent book is co-written with David Walker and is called, Dismembered: how the attack on the state harms us all.

What are the key questions

On the night we will cover a wide range of questions, including:

  • How good, efficient and effective is the NHS given the funding available?

  • Are we paying enough for our health care, should we be paying more or do we need to redefine what the NHS offers?

  • What should the public expect from their health and care service and what responsibility do they have in return?

  • What will it take to have patient and citizen power in health and care?

  • What changes are needed and what will it take to convince the public, NHS staff and politicians of the need for them?

  • How can we achieve parity of esteem for mental health care?

  • How can we finally deliver a long-term funding settlement for social care?


Help shape our NHS at 70 debates by telling us your No.1 solution for ensuring the NHS thrives for the next 70 years. Join the conversation on Twitter using #NHS70. 



Please note that this debate is invite only. If you would like to register your interest to attend, please contact Due to high demand for places, we will confirm by 1 May if we have been able to reserve you a place.