Professor Ted Baker, new chief inspector of English hospitals and former hospital medical director, has branded the NHS unfit for the 21st century.
Speaking with the Daily Telegraph, Prof Baker says he rues the way the NHS missed the early signs that should have heralded a change in the model of care.
“One of the things I regret is that 15 or 20 years ago, when we could see the change in the population, the NHS did not change its model of care.
“It should have done it then – there was a lot more money coming in but we didn’t spend it all on the right things. We didn’t spend it on transformation of the model of care.”
He added: “The model of care we have got is still the model we had in the 1960s and 70s.
“That is the fundamental thing that needs to change – we need a model of care that is fit for the 21st century and the population as it is now.”
Prof Baker, like many others working with the NHS, is concerned that hospitals could seriously struggle with patient numbers this winter. He has written to all chief executives urging them to improve A&E safety. He wants to see an end to patients lining the corridors and ambulances queuing up at entrances.