Mike Farrar says a redesign of the way services are provided, not just mergers and takeovers, is needed to address the problems of financially troubled trusts.
Mike Farrar, NHS Confederation chief executive, said:
“This report puts forward some ambitious ideas and timescales. We should use the expertise we have within the system to help address the financial challenges faced by local services. We need to move quickly to ensure these financial pressures don’t overcome us.
“But this is only one side of the coin. Addressing the problems some trusts are facing will require more than mergers and takeovers. The whole system has to work, not just its individual parts.
“The reality is that many of these trusts face significant financial problems because of the way local services are designed, not simply because of poor management.
“To really tackle the problem we need a fundamental redesign of the way services are provided.
“We need more investment in primary and community care so some patients can get the care they need at home rather than in hospital. And we need to concentrate specialist services on fewer sites where appropriate so patients have access to the best care and the best expertise.
“Short term fixes are no longer an option. Now is the time for solutions that provide sustainable services for local communities. The NHS needs to make a clear case for change, and we need political backing to help explain to the public why it has to happen.”