Independent investigation to provide “raw and frank assessment” of the NHS

New health and social care secretary Wes Streeting has ordered a full independent investigation to be carried out into the state of the national health service with the aim of exposing the “extent of the issues” facing the NHS and delivering “the hard truths”.

The findings of the assessment are expected to be delivered in September and will provide the basis for the government’s 1o-year plan to transform the NHS, following Labour’s manifesto pledge to “build a health service that is fit for the future”.

Surgeon, former health minister and independent peer Professor Lord Darzi – also described by the government as an “innovator” – is to lead the assessment and has commented that his 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”.

Streeting comments: “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.”

The government reports that this week has seen Streeting meet with key figures across the health services and set out his wider commitment to improve the health of the nation. The aims here are based on three key areas including enhancing the UK’s life sciences and medical technology industry, along with cutting waiting times and creating training and job opportunities.

General election: the wider trend

With Labour’s win of the 2024 general election last week, HTN took a look at health-related aspects of the party’s manifesto and explored what Starmer’s government could mean for the NHS. Click here to catch up on our coverage.

Interested to know what some of the other parties had in store for the NHS? Prior to the election, we examined the key points of the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Green party manifestos here.

And we covered the appointment of Wes Streeting as secretary for health and social care here, following his work as shadow health sec since November 2021.

Meanwhile, we conducted our own examination of what the health tech landscape looks like at present by asking professionals from across the industry for their thoughts on current challenges, the state of the market, and any priorities for the future.