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'Jean Trainor'

Deputy Chief Executive, The NHS Confederation
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The message from the NHS Confederation is a wide recognition of the positive impact that the NHS has had on all our lives since it was established and the role management has played.

At all of the significant points in our lives, even before we are born, the NHS cares for each and everyone of us. Immunisation and screening programmes have systematically eradicated diseases that previously stalked our lives. We take good health for granted.

That is why we want to make sure of the NHS for the next 50 years and we want the role of management to be recognised in this. All too often managers are used as the scapegoats for all that can go wrong in the Service and when the plaudits are handed out, they are usually in the background. So in the next 50 years lets not knock the work they do.

For the first time, we are joining the IHSM (Institute of Health Services management) and IHF(The International Hospital Federation) to stage a celebratory conference and health fair at Earls Court from 1-3 July 1998. It will also have a serious purpose, however.

Starting in January 1998, we have asked NHS leaders to discuss the future shape of the health service in the long term. They will involve clinicians, managers, staff and patients in this process, identifying the major challenges facing health care and deciding what action should be taken to position the NHS to cope in a changing world.

The results will be fed into the Millennium Debate of the Age, engaging some 30 million people in a public debate about the kind of future we all want to see.

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