Government announces extensive review of health and social care leadership

Sajid Javid

The government has ordered a major shake-up of health and social care leadership in England.

Announcing the news on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, Sajid Javid said he wanted the most far-reaching review of health and social care bosses for 40 years.

The review will be led by former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger, who will report back to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in early 2022.

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The aim is to consider how to foster and replicate best examples of leadership and reduce regional disparities in efficiency and health outcomes.

Javid said: “I am determined to make sure the NHS and social care delivers for the people of this country for years to come and leadership is so important to that mission.

“We are committed to providing the resources health and social care needs but that must come with change for the better.

“This review will shine a light on the outstanding leaders in health and social care to drive efficiency and innovation. It will help make sure individuals and families get the care and treatment they need, wherever they are in the country, as we build back better.”

Commenting on the government announcement, Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, said: “As the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England welcomes General Sir Gordon Messenger’s review of health and social care leadership. This review is timely and will, we hope, ensure that social care is put on an equal footing with the NHS; health and social care are two sides of the same coin and need to be duly recognised and resourced.”

Homecare Association CEO Dr Jane Townson said: “We welcome news of the review of leadership of health and social care by General Sir Gordon Messenger. The success of Integrated Care Systems in improving outcomes, as well as people’s experience of services, will depend heavily on skilful leadership and the creation of collaborative cultures. 

“In this context, it will be important to see social care providers included in this review, as well as other partners in the healthcare system. 

“Focusing first on the needs of people accessing services and working effectively in multi-disciplinary teams across traditional organisational boundaries, offers opportunities for innovation. In particular, we hope to see greater emphasis on the social determinants of health and supporting people to live well at home and flourish in their communities.”  

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke