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The wisdom of the crowd

65 views of the NHS at 65

On 5 July 2013, the NHS reached its 65th anniversary. To mark this milestone, the Nuffield Trust has been carrying out a number of activities to promote debate and discussion on the current state of the NHS and social care system, and its future prospects.

This publication is the centrepiece of our activities. Enclosed are interviews and essays with a cast list of 65 health and political leaders, consisting of current and former health secretaries and ministers, senior civil servants, clinicians, managers, academics, patient representatives, journalists and other key individuals. It is edited by Nuffield Trust Senior Associate Nick Timmins, who has reprised a role he performed for the Nuffield Trust back in 2008 when we took a similar temperature check of the views of leaders at the time of the NHS’s 60th anniversary.

The contributors have been asked to provide their assessment of what they believe the state of the NHS and social care system to be at this moment in time and what they think the service will look like in the future. Critically, they have been asked to reflect on what they think needs to happen now and over the coming years to ensure the NHS and social care system is viable and fit for purpose in ten years’ time.

This is not a representative group per se, but we have endeavoured to provide perspectives from a broad range of individuals that either are, or have previously been, in positions to help shape the direction of the health and social care system. We are indebted to each author, and our only regret is that we were unable to publish more contributions..