NHS Operational Planning & Contracting Guidance

This is an attempt to summarise one of the most ambitious documents I have ever read since I joined the NHS in 2003. Working in an SHA, DH’s Commercial and Contracts Unit and within Commissioners and Providers of all kinds has given me a unique overview and from this I see challenges to the capacity, capability and above all culture of the healthcare sector; especially in NHS organisations.

Horatio is the legend of a Roman Soldier who held the Etruscan Army at bay on a footbridge whilst his colleagues demolished the bridge behind him. He then swam the river in armour to escape and re-join his colleagues to fight another day. This is what NHS leaders have to do. They need to deliver the services required as their organisations are transformed into something new and ignore the sound of axes. Then they must be confident enough to take a leap.

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