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NHS Confederation responds to the Secretary of State for Health's announcement around the transformation fund

Rob Webster, chief executive, NHS Confederation, responded to the Secretary of State for Health's announcement around the transformation fund

"The NHS has never faced a challenge as significant as in 2016. Our members work hard every day to balance the books amidst rising demand and finite resources. This can only be achieved by a balanced approach of productivity in our hospitals and a much bigger push on changing the way we deliver care.

"We have been calling for a transformation fund to be applied to the NHS for some time to supplement the funding that is needed to stabilise the health service's position. This announcement gets us part of the way there.

"However, no NHS organisation is an island and changes in one will often mean either savings or extra costs elsewhere. This means a place based approach to change must be applied. This can only be achieved at a local level through strong and effective commissioners, working closely with Local Government and providers. This announcement must see the start of a system leadership approach that includes commissioners and providers collectively.

"We must continue to avoid a centralist approach and significantly increase the role of local commissioners and clinical leaders.

"For a sustainable NHS, national bodies must enable local leaders across health and care to work together to transform care. Hospitals are feeling the consequences of insufficient funding in social care and it is only by working together as an entire health and care system that we can deliver the improved and more sustainable care people need.

"Lord Carter's work is a vital contribution to finding the savings needed.

"On its own, it will not be enough and we look forward to working on the medium term changes to care that are being driven through local organisations and the national Vanguard programme."

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