08 December 2000
In one of his first public speaking engagements since taking up the post five weeks ago, Nigel Crisp told the HFMA's annual conference that the service must offer treatment that is designed around patients' needs.
It must develop 'human' aspects of care, such as ensuring patients get meals and see nurses and doctors regularly.
'The NHS has been pretty good at managing survival, now it has to work out how to manage success,' he added.
For the first time, responsibility for the NHS, social care and public health in England will be drawn together under Crisp and he sees a seamless structure between these agencies as vital to creating a modern service.
The first step would be to implement the NHS Plan. Government guidelines on local implementation strategies would be published before Christmas, he said.
He called on finance staff to show leadership in the coming months. 'A recent survey showed that 80% of the public knew the NHS was getting more money but only 30% said they thought the NHS would improve.
'Did the other 50% think we are going to waste it? We must convince ourselves, staff and the public that we can make a difference that the public will see.
'You are going to have to support some hard decisions and be tough and creative. I think that's what the finance function is good at.'