Work with us to build 'next generation' NHS for patients and staff, trusts urge new health secretary

05 July 2024

Trust leaders are ready to help new Health and Social Care Secretary Wes Streeting get to grips with urgent tasks to support an NHS facing record demand and relentless pressure.

Top in-tray issues for the new minister and his team include settling the long-running dispute with junior doctors, funding overdue pay awards for NHS staff and full implementation of the Long Term Workforce Plan to deal with severe staff shortages.

Responding to the appointment, Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive, NHS Providers, said:

"Trust leaders welcome Wes Streeting to the job and are ready to get down to work with him.

"It's vital that the government works with trust leaders to get to grips with the challenges facing the NHS as well as the opportunity to make the NHS better for patients and staff.

"A healthy NHS is vital for the nation's health and wellbeing. To maintain safe, high-quality care and to boost productivity and cut waiting lists, trusts need support to nurture a thriving workforce. Resolving ongoing industrial disputes and restoring staff confidence by announcing the next round of pay awards are vital first steps.

"Trust leaders have welcomed Labour's pledges to make mental health services a priority, to tackle race discrimination and to make sure that everyone gets the same high quality of care. Underpinning all of this must be an open and learning culture within the NHS.

"Labour has acknowledged too the need for more capital investment to improve quality of care and tackle the £11bn-plus repairs bill for essential repairs to crumbling NHS buildings, equipment and facilities. Support for the New Hospital Programme is welcome but urgent clarity is needed now on funding timelines for delivery. Patients and staff can't wait much longer for vital improvements.

"Underfunded and overstretched social care needs more resource and urgent reform to provide people with vital support and help ease mounting pressure throughout the NHS. Both social care and the NHS need to be on a sure footing for people to be given the right care in the right place at the right time.

"Trust leaders will be committed partners in a shared undertaking with the government to improve the quality and safety of care for patients and to give even greater value for money."

Before the election NHS Providers published a vision of how hospital, mental health, community health and ambulance trusts can work with the government to build the 'next generation' NHS.