NHS staff morale is a problem, admits health secretary Alan Johnson on launch of major health service review

New health secretary Alan Johnson has announced a major review of the NHS with an admission that staff morale is a problem.

He said: “The reality on the ground is that there is a gloomy mood. There has been an awful lot of change in a short period and staff feel overwhelmed by it.”

The review will involve patients as well as employees in a bid to set the health service up for the next 10 years.

Led by new health minister and world-renowned surgeon professor Ara Darzi, it will report to government before the 60-year anniversary in July 2008.

The review will include:

  • Working with NHS staff to ensure that clinical decision-making is at the heart of the future of the NHS
  • Improving patient care, including high-quality, joined-up services for those suffering long-term or life-threatening conditions
  • Delivering more accessible and more convenient care integrated across primary and secondary providers
  • Establishing a vision for the next decade of the health service that is based less on central direction and more on patient control, choice and local accountability.

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