Professor Lord Darzi appointed to establish the state of the nation’s health service.

  • Report will provide ‘raw and honest assessment’ of issues facing health service
  • Work will be led by Rt Hon Professor Lord Darzi OM KBE, a lifelong surgeon and innovator, independent peer and former health minister
  • Findings will feed into government’s 10-year plan to radically reform the nation’s health service

Health and Social Care Secretary Wes Streeting has ordered a full and independent investigation into the state of the NHS, to uncover the extent of the issues facing the nation’s health service.

Mr Streeting says he wants a ‘raw and honest’ assessment that will deliver ‘the hard truths’.

Today he has appointed Professor Lord Darzi, a lifelong surgeon and innovator, independent peer and former health minister, to lead the rapid assessment, which will be delivered in September.

Its findings will provide the basis for the government’s 10-year plan to radically reform the NHS and build a health service that is fit for the future.

Health and Social Care Secretary Wes Streeting said:

Anyone who works in or uses the NHS can see it is broken. This government will be honest about the challenges facing the health service, and serious about tackling them.

This investigation will uncover hard truths and I’ve asked for nothing to be held back. I trust Lord Darzi will leave no stone unturned and have told him to speak truth to power. 

I want a raw and frank assessment of the state of the NHS. This is the necessary first step on the road to recovery for our National Health Service, so it can be there for us when we need it, once again.

Professor Lord Darzi said:

As every clinician and every patient knows, the first step to addressing any health problem is a proper diagnosis.

My work will analyse the evidence to understand where we are today – and how we got to here – so that the health service can move forward.

This is an important step to reestablishing quality of care as the organising principle of the NHS.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive said:

Frontline NHS staff are doing an incredible job, despite the huge pressures they face, to deliver care to over a million people every day, but we know that they face huge struggles and patients are not always getting the timely, high quality care they need. 

We will work closely with the government, independent experts and NHS staff to take a detailed look at the scale of the challenges and set out plans to address them – this comprehensive analysis will be an important step in helping us to build an NHS fit for the future.

The Health and Social Care Secretary’s promise to fix the broken NHS was backed by action this week as he met with key figures across the health service.

This included key meetings with junior doctors to discuss ending the strikes, and talks with the British Dental Association about rebuilding NHS dentistry. He also visited a GP surgery in north London to see first-hand how the practice is delivering a patient-led service providing continuity of care – a key pillar of the government’s ambition to improve primary care.

Mr Streeting also set out his wider commitment to support the government’s growth mission by improving the health of the nation.

The aims are based on three key steps – cutting waiting times to get people back to work, making the UK a life sciences and medical technology superpower, and creating training and job opportunities through the NHS to deliver growth up and down the country.

Published 11 July 2024