Some light for 2021

David Hare casts a look back at 2020 and is optimistic for independent practitioners in the year ahead.

As we embarked on the new decade, with a new Government and the UK’s departure from the EU confirmed in law, 2020 was set to usher in a new period of stability for the health sector. 

And, for independent providers, it would be an opportunity for further progress on the quality and safety agendas, with the long-awaited publication of the Bishop of Norwich’s inquiry into rogue surgeon Ian Paterson due for release and significant work in train around NHS legislation and the promotion of the UK as a destination for international patient activity. 

However, the Coronavirus pandemic changed everything. Repres­ent­ing the biggest challenge to the health system in its history, the pandemic has had an enormous impact on everything and everybody, shaking the kaleidoscope and causing challenges very few of us could have foreseen as 2020 was ushered in, not least for the livelihoods of many independent doctors working in the UK.

Key positives

For all the challenges, however, there are some key positives from 2020 that will put the entire healthcare system in better stead as we move past the pandemic and, as 2021 begins, it feels appropriate to stay positive.

Firstly, the pandemic has demonstrated just what can be achieved when all parts of the health system works together and that it is in the interests of the NHS and the nation as a whole to have a strong independent health sector in the UK.