It is hard to challenge Mr Cameron's assessment that he “was the future once,” as he made his final appearance as PM at the dispatch box yesterday (13 July). And then promptly handed over the keys to Number 10 to his successor, Theresa May.
It remains hard to call what will remain a priority from the Conservative’s 2015 manifesto for a new look cabinet charged with delivering Britain's EU exit. Will, for example, the professed desire to streamline the professional regulators, including the GOC, quietly slide down the list?
And what will Brexit, and critically the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s negotiations with Brussels, spell for the economy, and in turn the NHS?
Earlier in the year, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confidently committed £1.8bn to creating a paper-free NHS by 2020. Fast forward six months and we are now hearing a more sober line, with Dr Robert Wachter, interim head of a governmental review into NHS IT systems, stating that “a fully paperless system by 2020 is not possible in the UK.” Ouch.
We also know that the Minister of State for Community and Social Care at the Department of Health, Alistair Burt, has resigned from the Government prior to the Brexit reshuffle. Having arrived in post in May 2015, optics has had success engaging Mr Burt with the eye health agenda. New bridges will now need to be built.
In Ms May's speech to the newshounds and paparazzi on the steps of number 10, she addressed the social issues underlying the health and wellbeing of the nation today. "Right now, if you're born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others…If you suffer from mental health problems, there's too often not enough help to hand.” This prompted Health Select Committee chair, Sara Wollaston, on BBC News, to conclude the future looks brighter. In this new world of supercharged politics, we may not have to wait long to find out if she is right.
Share your views on the AOP community forum
This week we have been reporting news on the latest issues surrounding Capita’s delayed payments to contractors, and how the Optical Confederation and Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) have been involved. We have also been following concerns that the High Street big boys are lowering locum rate fees. If you are affected, get in touch and share your perspective.
Image credit: Flickr/Jeffery Johnson