Healthcare: On the Agenda - NHS reforms pose fresh challenges

- In a nutshell

The NHS Confederation's chief executive Mike Farrar told a panel of health professionals that the public would need to be educated about what the NHS of the future is going to look like in light of the proposed reforms to the health service. This could signify fresh comms challenges for the healthcare industry.

- What was the event?

Farrar was speaking at an event hosted by the health team at comms agency Open Road, called Revolution, Evolution or Dissolution. Also present was Health Select Committee chair and former health secretary Stephen Dorrell. The event addressed the impact of the proposed reforms on the NHS.

- Why is it important?

NHS reform has dominated the past six months of the healthcare news agenda, unsettling the Government, Parliament, the Department of Health, the NHS and the public at large. Much has been written about how the Government initially failed in communicating the reforms and while the panel agreed the Government had managed to gain some of this ground back through the listening exercise, they said that this would need to be maintained as the Bill finishes its Parliamentary stages.

- What are the challenges?

Open Road associate director Jessica Frost suggested Farrar's comments shed light on fresh comms challenges for the healthcare comms industry. 'Educating the public about how best they can use the NHS of the future is going to be a massive challenge, and one that will have to be undertaken at a time when there is no public money to fund it,' said Frost.

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