The final report of The Future Hospital project describes our local hospital politics case studies and sets out recommendations for improving fairness and transparency in hospital change.

Health care needs to adapt as health needs change and as the technologies and techniques of delivering modern care develop. As our previous report The Future Hospital: The progressive case for change (Farrington-Douglas with Brooks 2007) explained, the model of health care provision needs to change, with wideranging effects on the location and functions of district hospitals. We argued that changes to health services should be driven by progressive objectives. In particular, changes should aim to:

  • Improve safety
  • Improve access
  • Increase efficiency
  • Prevent ill health
  • Raise responsiveness
  • Reduce inequity and inequalities

However, the progressive changes that ippr advocates are hampered by a damaging and dysfunctional politics associated with changes to hospitals. At present, we are not achieving the best outcomes from our health system, nor are we achieving public engagement and confidence in the NHS. The public do not trust the process of hospital change.

The Future Hospital project at ippr aims to develop a new process and politics of change through which changes to the health system provide safe, equitable, efficient and accessible care, while engaging the public and maintaining confidence in the NHS.