Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech on Dementia

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on 5 December 2018.

To get a sense of the challenge that dementia poses, I think about a man who, as a celebrated writer, gave such a clear account of the impact of dementia and stood determined not to let it stop him living his life.

Sir Terry Pratchett was a best-selling author of some of the most creative fantasy novels. He continued to write despite his diagnosis of dementia and would not let it stop him. In his words:

It’s possible to live well with dementia. And write best-sellers. Like wot I do.

There is not yet a cure, and as Terry himself described it:

There is no clearly plotted pathway to the course of these diseases. Dementia attacks those facets which make us who we are, and it’s a deeply personal attack that defies prediction.

Today we know much more about the challenge that dementia poses. But what are we doing to meet this challenge?

What have we achieved since the summit here in London in 2013, 5 years ago? Have we done enough to tackle stigma and raise awareness of this disease? Are we doing the research that will help us develop a treatment? Are we helping people to live well with dementia?

Today we’re gathered in London again, 5 years on from David Cameron using the UK’s presidency of the G8 summit to turn the spotlight on dementia.

Here we have a selection of the people who, working together in a common purpose, can bring change in our organisations, our countries and our world. We have eminent scientists, policy makers, innovators, academia, industry, people with dementia and carers, and politicians too. These are just some of the people that we need to bring together.

Without working across boundaries, without the collaborations and sharing of ideas we would not be able to make progress.

Today I want to reflect on some of the achievements we’ve made home and abroad. Let us together renew the call for action to defeat dementia.

In the UK alone, an estimated 850,000 live with dementia, with numbers projected to rise to over 1 million by 2022 and 2 million by 2051.

225,000 people will develop dementia this year, that’s roughly 1 every 3 minutes. And an estimated 1 in 5 people over the age of 85 have dementia. Furthermore, there are over 45,000 people under the age of 65 living with dementia in the UK.

Numbers are rising now. As we make progress in tackling the other major killers, then the numbers will rise more so.

Globally, nearly 50 million people were living with dementia in 2017. Research commissioned by Alzheimer’s Disease International highlights that the global cost of dementia will double by 2030, to $2 trillion.

I want to talk about what we are doing in 4 areas:

care and treatment
early diagnosis

On care and treatment, we have made significant progress on staff training to help them care for people with dementia better. This year we reached one million NHS staff receiving dementia training since 2013 and around a million social care staff will have learned about dementia.

And we are investing in dementia research for better care approaches and new treatments. To that end, we are spending £300 million on dementia research between 2015 and 2020.

Through the Dementia Research Institute, Dementia Platforms UK, and through international efforts such as the Dementia Discovery Fund – which stands at a staggering £250 million so far – we are creating an environment to develop new approaches to tackling dementia.

On diagnosis, one of our central achievements has been the improvement in the dementia diagnosis rate. Today, over two-thirds of people living with dementia receive a diagnosis, compared with 2 in 5 in 2010 to 2011.

A timely diagnosis enables an individual and their loved ones to think about the care and support they need. It means they are able to access support and receive treatment quicker.

But things move on. As the science improves we are now thinking about even earlier diagnosis informed by understanding of ‘biomarkers’ to ensure that novel medicines and treatments stand the best chance of success.

On prevention, there is growing recognition that brain health is just as important as heart health: dementia isn’t an inevitable consequence of ageing. Around one-third of Alzheimer’s disease cases may be preventable through improving lifestyle, especially in midlife.

That is why we have now have dementia messages in our NHS health checks. In England everyone between the ages 40 to 74 years who goes for a health check will be given advice on how to reduce their dementia risk.

In the last 5 years, 7 million people attended a health check. That’s a fantastic opportunity to get the message out.

Which brings me to the role of technology. Since 2013 we have a deeper understanding of how technology can transform the lives of those with dementia and their carers.

Launched by the University of Oxford and the Alzheimer’s Society, the ‘GameChanger’ app contains a collection of memory and thinking games that test specific parts of the brain as well as the memory and thinking abilities believed to be affected during the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

A fantastic example of using new technology is the Dementia Education and Learning Through Stimulation 2 (DEALTS) programme, which uses virtual reality to help staff understand the challenges someone living with dementia faces in their everyday lives, from shopping to going to the cinema.

Or Paro the robotic seal. Paro uses artificial intelligence to learn from its surroundings and interact with people. Soft and cuddly, yes. And studies show its potential as a therapeutic intervention for people with dementia – it has been shown to improve socialisation for people living with dementia.

In all these areas, there are examples of good progress. It will take time. But there are still things we can do now. We are seeing a change in the way people think, talk and act on dementia.

The Dementia Friends initiative has been successful in raising awareness. We have over 2.7 million people who have become Dementia Friends, and over 400 communities committing to becoming dementia friendly in the UK.

Supported by my department, the Alzheimer’s Society co-ordinates the Global Dementia Friends Network, which now has 44 countries developing similar programmes, with nearly 16 million Dementia Friends across all continents.

In Brighton, the Dementia Action Alliance is partnering with Chess in Schools and Communities to give free chess lessons to older people, helping them keep their minds active while giving them opportunities to socialise.

Participating in music can help bring people together and stimulate memories – through Singing for the Brain for example.

Or simple ideas like the Southbank Centre using working poets to run a poetry course for people with dementia and their families.

Common-sense interventions like these are simple yet effective. And I want to see more of them.

Change is happening. Today’s event is a way of sharing all this great practice. It’s a way of restating our determination to make even more progress towards that goal of transformed care and support, of vastly improved social awareness and the first treatments by 2025.

I will work with any nation, any partner who has innovative solutions to defeat dementia. We must not become complacent, we must all keep an open mind to embrace the new opportunities offered by technology and science.

But let’s not lose sight of the simple message from Sir Terry Pratchett:

“It’s possible to live well with dementia”.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech on Health Technology

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, on 28 November 2018.

It’s great to be in a room full of fellow tech enthusiasts. Not least because I imagine most of you will have downloaded the Matt Hancock app?

Some of you? Anyone? Well, it’s currently rated 3.5 out of 5 on the App Store and if you need any convincing, just listen to the top-rated review:

Due to low storage I had to delete my Facebook app, Twitter app, photos app, camera and phone to make room for this. Worth it! It’s the only app I’ll ever need from now on.

From hearing about what Matt Hancock thinks about the OAP utility bill allowance, to hearing about what Matt Hancock thinks about the OAP free bus fare allowance, this really does satisfy my needs for constant global information as a millennial in the Digital Information Age. Delete your phone, get this app instead. You won’t regret it!

It’s great to have a satisfied customer. So, you’re welcome, ‘The Gruesome Twosome’. Although, I’m not sure the app’s sarcasm filter is working quite as it should.

So, yes, hello, I’m Matt Hancock the app IRL (in real life). And yes, I know my love of tech is sometimes a source of amusement, but let me tell you why I believe in the power of tech – and here I want to borrow from the great Steve Jobs.

Steve said, and this was in 1994, long before Apple changed the world:

It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people. Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.

A faith in people. A belief that, given the power, people want to make their lives better and make other people’s lives better too.

I share Steve’s optimism. Because, throughout history, almost every technological leap has made people’s lives better:

From the printing press, to the electric light, to the internet. From the discovery of penicillin, to x-ray machines, to keyhole surgery. We’re better off and healthier because of technological progress. Because someone had faith and a vision.

That’s why I believe in tech, because I believe in people. And I’m optimistic that with the right tools in the NHS we can improve people’s lives by improving people’s health.

So today I want to talk to you about 3 things:

predictive prevention
personal responsibility
That’s a lot of ‘Ps’ so let me take each in turn.

First: personalisation.

The digital revolution of the past couple of decades has unleashed our imaginations and our creativity like never before, ushered in much, and often profound, cultural and social change. From how we work, to how we shop, to how we date.

If there is any one overriding theme of the digital revolution it’s increased choice. You don’t walk into a record shop to buy a top-40 single. You click a button to listen to any record ever made.

But all that choice can be overwhelming. And in the past few years we’ve seen a move to increasingly personalised services from the likes of Amazon to Netflix to Apple to many others. Suggestions based on our past behaviour, but not limited to what we’ve already done, as algorithms have become more intelligent.

Now, there are legitimate concerns about privacy and the sharing of data, and it is absolutely right that government should ensure there is adequate and sensible legislation in place, and that laws are followed.

But I’m a firm believer in looking at what people actually do, rather than what they say they do. And if you look at people’s everyday behaviour, they like personalisation. They use personalised services.

Over a third of Amazon purchases are recommendations. Around 80% of what Netflix viewers watch are recommendations made by algorithms.

And I’m sure Doug (Beck, Apple VP) would be able to share some similarly impressive data from Apple on the popularity of personalisation.

People are choosing personalised services to help them narrow down and make the best choice. They’re opting in because personalisation offers more tailored, more targeted services.

And in a hyper-connected, digital world with limitless choice, with endless opportunities, people still want to feel like individuals. They don’t want to feel like they’re part of the crowd. They want to be treated as individuals.

That’s why I believe, if you scratch the surface, most millennials share my political outlook of liberal conservatism – even if they don’t know it yet.

So how does personalisation relate to health? Well, we know that more than 80% of 16 to 24-year-olds would prefer to access the health service through an app.

But personalised healthcare is more than just meeting people’s expectations of increased choice – as important as that is. It’s what’s best for them. It’s giving people better outcomes.

In the 20th century, when the NHS was born, it made sense to view the population as one homogeneous mass when designing health programmes because the margin of victory was so great.

Even with a one-size-fits-all approach, you were going to see improvement. And we have seen huge improvements because of the efforts of our hugely talented and dedicated NHS staff. Heart disease is down, strokes are down, people are living longer and healthier lives.

But if we look to the future, that approach isn’t going to work because the margins are becoming smaller, the challenges are changing.

So the focus of the system has to move from treating single acute illnesses to care for multiple chronic conditions and promoting the health of the whole individual. The 21st century NHS must try and prevent people from becoming patients in the first place.

To get the best possible return on the record £20.5 billion a year we’re putting into the NHS, we must change the focus to prevention and empower people to take more care of their own health. Because all the evidence proves that prevention is better than cure.

So let me turn to predictive prevention because this is where the possibilities offered by tech get really exciting.

We know that genetics and lifestyle choices make up around a half of what determines an individual’s likelihood of good health.

Right now, in Cambridge, we’re on the cusp of sequencing the 100,000th genome, on our way to a target of 5 million genomes.

What this means is we will be able to predict who is vulnerable to which disease and how we can prevent it, or best design a drug or a treatment to give them the best possible chance of recovery. Cutting-edge healthtech in our NHS.

And we must stay at the forefront of this and other emerging technologies like digital medicines because their potential is so huge.

In the US, the FDA has approved the first ever digital pill. Fit with a tiny sensor, smaller than a grain of sand, it uses a smartphone app to transmit to the doctor when the pill has passed through the patient’s system.

A nice extra? No. Because the pill is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, so being certain a patient has taken their medication is absolutely vital.

Now, Andy Thompson of Proteus Digital Health, one of the firms behind the pill, forecasts that by 2030 patients will be diagnosed at home using medical sensors built into their mobile phones.

Doctors will be able to use digital devices and medicines, wearables and AI to predict, prevent and treat people with precision. Specific and accurate not general and variable – that’s the medicine of the future.

And it’s not far off in the future. It’s here and now. Thousands of patients have already used digital medicines. Within the next decade most drugs will be smart drugs. So we must get ready. We must make sure the NHS is ready for the healthtech revolution.

That’s why we’re developing new digital approaches to prevention programmes. We’re looking at how we can improve NHS health checks, using patient-generated real-time data to spot early signs of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia, and create personalised, targeted interventions to treat people and help them change behaviours to cut risk factors.

Public Health England is looking at how we can use referrals through social media and incentives delivered through digital platforms to promote physical activity and help people quit smoking and lower alcohol consumption.

So that could mean personalised incentives such as free gym and swimming pool access, cinema tickets or discount vouchers for healthy food.

And the Good Thinking mental health project in London is analysing social media usage and search history to identify people who may be at risk of, or are already suffering from anxiety, depression and low-level mental health conditions. That way they can be helped through digital apps, online cognitive behavioural therapy, or face-to-face and we can prevent their condition becoming more serious.

These are just some of the new and emerging ideas on predictive prevention that we’re looking at in the NHS.

And I welcome the insights from the RAND study on how we can promote better behaviours. I am open to any idea, from anyone, and will look anywhere for what works. What’s best for the NHS is what’s best for patients.

And we have to be honest: we don’t have all the solutions within the NHS. So we have to be open to working with others and open to change because, ultimately, predictive prevention is a conscious decision not to stand still.

The public’s expectations of public health services have increased as technology has advanced.

More than half the British public have searched online for health information from diet and nutrition, to exercise and fitness, to concerns about an illness or an injury, and how to treat it.

Now, we all know about the perils of Dr Google and how a stubbed toe can be misdiagnosed as a terminal condition, but what it shows is that people are increasingly taking an active interest in their health and fitness.

People want to take greater personal responsibility for their health. And they must take greater personal responsibility for their health. Because at the heart of our NHS there’s a social contract, which is the third and final thing I want to talk about.

Think of it as the terms and conditions that few of us ever read. We know they’re important. We know we agree, but what do they actually say?

The social contract that underpins the NHS is this:

We, the citizens, have a right to the healthcare we need, when we need it, free at the point of use.

But, we have a responsibility to pay our taxes to fund it, and to use the health service carefully, with consideration for others, and to comply with medical advice to look after ourselves.

Rights are important. But equally important are responsibilities. And we all have a personal responsibility to ensure the NHS is there for future generations.

So, I will protect your rights and work with the NHS to build a better and more sustainable health and social care system. Government has guaranteed your rights and is putting the single, largest cash injection into the NHS ever to build a better and more sustainable health and social care system.

But the final component, the most important part, is the public.

Only by every citizen taking personal responsibility for managing their own health, by making full use of the predictive prevention and personalised health services we’re introducing, can we build a better and more sustainable health and social care system.

One that’s at the forefront of new technology. One that can rise to the challenges of an ageing society. And one that’s there for our children and our grandchildren.

In short, an NHS that’s fit for the future.

And we achieve that not by penalising people, but by empowering people. By giving them the right tools and trusting them to make the right decisions.

Not Big Brother and more nanny state, but an equal partner with a shared stake.

Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand with having faith in people. A faith to do what’s best for them, what’s best for others, and what’s best for our NHS.

Matt Hancock – 2010 Maiden Speech in the House of Commons

Below is the text of the maiden speech made by Matt Hancock, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, in the House of Commons on 7 June 2010.

It is an honour to be called to speak and to follow the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford), who spoke so passionately about her new constituency. She also spoke about a subject to do with the constitution that I, too, wish to address-the devolution of power to people more locally. That is a thread that binds together all of us on this side of the House. We believe that the constitution has become too centralised and that local people should be given more of a say. That is certainly true in West Suffolk.

West Suffolk has been represented for the past 18 years by Richard Spring, who was well loved in the constituency, worked tirelessly for it and was admired and respected in all parts of the House. I cannot recall the number of times that, during the election campaign, I knocked on a door and the person who answered said, “Oh, you are following Richard Spring. Well, you’ve got big shoes to fill.” If I can manage to fill those shoes and do as good a job for West Suffolk as he did over the past 18 years, I will have done a very good job indeed. I say from the bottom of my heart that that is what I intend to do.

Richard Spring made the decision early on in his time as an MP to, as he put it, “out-liberal the Liberals” in local campaigning. Now that I find myself on the same Benches as that party, perhaps it is appropriate that I have learned a trick or two from the campaigning that he undertook locally to ensure that West Suffolk was well represented in the House. His biggest impact on the constituency was undoubtedly in the town of Haverhill, which is the largest in the constituency. It has a long history and was in the Domesday Book. It is now a town on the up, largely thanks to his work and that of St Edmundsbury borough council. It has companies such as Genzyme that export to China, which is truly where the future of our manufacturing economy will come from.

West Suffolk is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful constituencies in our country. I have heard the claims of others, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham (Guy Opperman)-I look forward to challenging his claim to have the most beautiful constituency in the country. With villages such as Ixworth, Stanton, Bardwell, Hundon and Wixoe, and the Stour valley village of Thurlow where I now live with my family, all in all there are 42 villages of thatched roofs and pink cottages all through Constable country, which inspired the great artist.

As well as the most beautiful, West Suffolk is one of the largest constituencies in England, and that large area is united by the poor transport links that we find throughout it. The A11, which serves the whole of Norfolk, desperately needs the final nine miles to be dualled to provide better transport and a better economy to the whole east of England. At the most northerly point of the constituency, Brandon is a peaceful market town, but that peace is destroyed as the holiday traffic runs up the high street. Members will not be surprised that as a new MP, I support the fully locally funded proposal to bring a bypass to Brandon. However, they can imagine my horror when, in preparing for this speech, I read the maiden speech of my predecessor 18 years ago and found that he, too, had argued that there was a desperate need for a bypass for Brandon. I hope that it will not take a whole 18 years to bring it about.

Just south of Brandon is Mildenhall, famous for the Roman Mildenhall treasure and now, of course, home to a large United States air force base. Finally, I turn to the town of Newmarket. It is undoubtedly the most famous town in West Suffolk, and its heritage lives and breathes in the 62 studs and racing yards that are woven through the town centre. It is a unique town with a unique character, and it has unique needs. For instance, it was once illegal to blow one’s nose on Newmarket high street. That rule was in place for the benefit not of the local people but of the bloodstock that ran up and down the street.

Such attention to local need is unfortunately in marked contrast to the one-size-fits-all, we-know-best attitude that Newmarket has seen over the past 13 years, and it is to that point that I turn in the final moments of my speech. For many years, the constitution has endured a creeping centralism. In particular, in planning, John Prescott’s regional spatial strategies have tried to turn every market town into a clone town. The powers of local people to resist have been stripped away, but already the new Government are succeeding in giving power back to the people. The regional spatial strategy was forcing through an inappropriate proposal to build thousands of homes and an industrial park in the middle of Newmarket, which the council found itself powerless to reject-but no more. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has given councils the power to make decisions for themselves once again. The people were given their voice and their democratically elected councillors voted unanimously to reject the proposal.

So there we have it. After less than a month in office, the new Government are already improving our constitution to make it more local, more responsive to the people and less in hock to unelected, unaccountable quangos. A law and a quango cannot solve every ill of this world, but by trusting people and sharing responsibility, we can make a start. That principle binds us together on these Benches. I commend the Queen’s Speech to the House.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech on NHS Leadership

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, at the King’s Fund on 28 November 2018.

I want to talk to you today about how we create the right leadership culture in the NHS. So I’ve been looking at what we can learn from other organisations. But the truth is, there’s nowhere like the NHS.

No other nation has what we have in the NHS. No other healthcare system is as comprehensive or as big. There’s no organisation on earth on the scale of the NHS that deals with life and death decisions every single day, often in highly pressurised and challenging conditions. So there’s probably a lot the NHS has to teach others.

But that doesn’t mean we should be complacent or that we can’t learn from others – particularly when it comes to leadership. The only organisations that come close to the NHS in size is the US Department of Defence, McDonald’s, Walmart and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Missiles, cheeseburgers and groceries. On the surface of it, not a lot in common with the NHS. But look at McDonald’s, for example: they’re nowhere near as important as the NHS. What they do is spectacularly less complex. Yet they start leadership training at shift manager level. They drive leadership training through every level of their company.

Restaurant managers learn how to develop a culture of continuous improvement, how to hold their teams and themselves accountable and how to apply best practice to their outlet. General managers learn how to create and execute business plans and analyse and improve performance. And then there’s apprenticeships, university degrees, a leadership institute and accelerated leadership development programmes.

All that training, all that leadership development, just to sell more burgers. What the NHS does is so much more valuable, but can we honestly say that we place as much time, effort and importance on identifying, developing and supporting leaders? That we value it?

Surely, the life-saving business requires at least as much emphasis on good leadership as the fast-food business? And it’s so important in the NHS. The best led trusts have the best performance; clinical, financial, staff and patient satisfaction.

There’s no trade off ‒ there’s a correlation with leadership. So we need to have an open and honest conversation about how we get the right leadership in the NHS. Because leaders create the culture, and so many of the problems of the NHS can be solved by a just culture.

So I want to focus on 3 things today: training, tech leadership and diversity.

First: training. We need to train more people to be leaders in the NHS. I welcome today’s review by Sir Ron Kerr into how we can empower NHS leaders to lead.

We need more clinicians becoming chief executives, so we need a pipeline of talent from the frontline to the boardroom.

And we also need new people and new ideas from outside the system so we need more porous borders into the NHS.

More outsiders, more insiders, more trained on their way up. What matters is we get the best leaders. And how we do it is by making sure they get the right, tailored training so clinicians learn how to lead, and external recruits at all levels learn how the NHS works.

Every leader, from the ward to the boardroom, must get training and development throughout their careers. Now there’s some brilliant leaders and good stuff happening with, for example, the new Clinical Executive Fast Track scheme, the expansion of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, and the Leadership Academy growing and moving to NHS Improvement.

And I also welcome what’s happening outside the system with charities like The Staff College taking the best of what the military, business and education do on developing leaders and adapting that training for the NHS.

I want to learn from The Staff College and embed it much more in how we develop our leaders. And from what people like Professor Stefan Scholtes is doing at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, running a hugely popular MBA programme, taking mid-career clinicians and turning them into top-tier leaders.

If there’s a golden thread running through all of them, it’s that we need to create leaders who are comfortable with challenge and change. Leaders who will create a ‘learn, not blame’ culture.

A culture that’s less hierarchical, with greater autonomy at all levels. Where staff can challenge without fear. Where complaints are an opportunity to improve, not a need for cover-up and denial. Where whistleblowing is encouraged, patients are listened to and there is shared learning through training in teams.

This matters. And it particularly matters in a high-risk job like healthcare, because everyone makes errors. Making mistakes is acceptable. It’s OK, everyone does it. What’s unacceptable is bad behaviour and failing to learn from mistakes.

And because culture change comes from the top, I want to give you one small example of a mistake I made last week. I shared a link to NHS workforce figures on Twitter showing the numbers of GPs had risen by 1,000. The fact I shared is true, but I used figures that weren’t comparable.

I was accused of deliberately trying to mislead people. I wasn’t, and the policy consequences are unchanged: we still need more GPs. But those figures were not the best way to show what was happening in the system so I deleted the tweet. I’ve learned from my error; I’m very enthusiastic about sharing good news about the NHS. That’s OK, but my lesson is to read the statistical footnote before you tweet and give a full representation of the facts.

Now, I recognise that for you, correcting a mistake is not as simple as hitting delete. The consequences can be much more serious. But mistakes will happen despite our best efforts. What matters is that we admit mistakes, learn the right lessons and that we improve. And nowhere is a ‘learn, not blame’ culture more important than patient safety.

The work Dr Aidan Fowler is currently doing to cement the right culture, one of continuous improvement, in the long-term plan, is vital to the future of the NHS. It is vital to creating the systems leadership I want to see embedded at every level across the NHS.

So let me turn from training to tech, because this is another area where leadership has a crucial role to play.

Now, you know tech is one of my 3 priorities, and there is a tech revolution happening across health as we speak.

Improving technology is only a small part about the technology. It’s mostly about culture. Leaders must ensure their staff have the right skills to constantly innovate and continuously realise the benefits that technology can bring, from basic, good IT to the huge opportunities such as genomics, AI and digital medicines will bring to the NHS.

That means we must have the right skills and capability in management and leadership. And technology is no longer just another department but is at the core of how every good organisation works.

So if you’re a chief executive, I don’t expect you to know everything about tech, but I do expect you to have a chief information officer on the board who does. Because the best leaders know their own shortcomings and take action. They’re not afraid to seek out support, surround themselves with good people and empower others to take decisions if they have more expertise.

In fact, Dr Eric Topol’s tech review is looking equally at the new technologies we want to see within the NHS, and the leadership and training we must see within the NHS to make best use of those new technologies.

How are technological developments likely to change the roles and functions of clinical staff over the next 10 or 20 years?

What are the implications for the skills required?

What does it mean for the selection, training and development of current staff and future NHS workforce?

Those are all questions he is asking and will report on in the new year to help NHS leaders plan and prepare for change.

But there’s another major change I want to see in the NHS. So, third: I want to talk about diversity. And here I want to borrow a phrase from Idris Elba: what we seek is diversity of thought.

Now, one of the most obvious form of diversity is what people look like. And if we look at racial equality, our leadership within the NHS looks spectacularly un-diverse, uniform in fact.

40% of hospital doctors and 20% of nurses in the NHS are from a black or ethnic minority background. Yet, BME representation on NHS trust boards is only 7%. More than half of all NHS trusts in England have no black or ethnic minority staff at the very senior manager (VSM) level.

Diversity of thought comes from gender too. Over 75% of the NHS workforce are women, yet at board level that figure is just 40%. We need 500 more women on boards to make them gender balanced.

But it’s not just a question of fairness and justice. Diversity of leadership is a diversity of experience, a diversity of perspectives. Different ways of thinking, fresh ideas, new solutions to old and seemingly insurmountable problems.

Diversity of thought is essential to the future of the NHS. It is essential to make the best, and most intelligent use, of the £20 billion a year extra we’re putting into the NHS.

And this applies to outsiders coming in as much as it does to insiders moving up. It’s about the right attitude to training, to tech and to diversity. Because, at the moment, we don’t have enough leaders. At the moment, nearly 1 in 10 chief executive positions in the NHS aren’t permanently filled.

That can’t continue. We need to support our leaders more, manage their careers better. We need to be able to plan for the future with confidence. We need to find 20 more people right now with the skills, grit and ambition to be an NHS CEO, and 30 more people to be a chief operating officer, just for us to stand still.

So, we must embrace better training, tech leadership, and diversity of thought. Because the NHS is changing, society is changing, expectations are changing.

The health and social care system of the future is going to more joined up and better integrated. It’s going to be less command and control, less top-down, less hierarchy. More autonomy. More about relationships and building a transformative culture. More about us, than me.

What does that mean? Well, let me illustrate it with 2 stories that both involve janitors.

The first ‒ and I have Scott Morrish to thank for putting me onto Margaret Heffernan’s book ‘Beyond Measure’ ‒ is the ‘paradox of organisational culture’ and how culture makes a big difference, but it’s comprised of small actions.

She writes: ‘We measure everything at work except what counts…but when we’re confronted by spectacular success or failure, everyone from the CEO to the janitor points in the same direction: the culture.’

The solution to creating a more ‘just’ culture isn’t to think big, she says, but to think small.

‘Small changes, listening, asking questions, sharing information…each of those small things generates responses that influence the system itself. And everyone, from the CEO to the janitor, makes an impact.’

So good leadership starts with getting the small things right.

And the second story involving a janitor is from when President Kennedy visited NASA after setting them the mission of reaching the moon. Kennedy stopped a janitor and talked to him. And the President said to that janitor: ‘Thank you for helping put a man on the moon.’

Good leadership means making sure everyone feels valued and vital to the mission. Leadership is listening to people, empathising. Being open to challenge and change. Empowering people and being humble enough to admit you don’t know everything and you make mistakes.

That’s the culture I want to see across the NHS. That’s the culture we must work together to create across the NHS. Only then can the NHS truly be the very best, which is what our citizens deserve.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech to the King’s Fund

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, to the King’s Fund on 6 November 2018.

I love my job. I get to see brilliant doctors and inspirational nurses, courageous paramedics and committed carers. I get to meet people who save lives each and every day.

Yet, there were some perks to being Culture Secretary. You’d get to go to the Tate, the National, the Royal Opera House for work. You’d get to rub shoulders with the likes of Grayson Perry, Anthony Gormley and even the legendary Ronnie Wood.

Although, when Ronnie offered me a little pick-me-up at the Brits, I was surprised, and mightily relieved, when he handed me a mini Babybel.

“Minister caught in cheese scandal” isn’t quite a career ending headline.

We know what the NHS does is life-saving. But what the arts and social activities do is life-enhancing. You might get by in a world without the arts, but it isn’t a world that any of us would choose to live in.

As the great Chinese philosopher Confucius said: “Music produces a kind of pleasure, which human nature cannot do without.”

And as the great Rolling Stones said: “I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, I can’t get no satisfaction.”

Music and the arts aren’t just the foods of love. They’re not just right in their own terms as the search for truth and expression of the human condition.

We shouldn’t only value them for the role they play in bringing meaning and dignity to our lives. We should value the arts and social activities because they’re essential to our health and wellbeing.

And that’s not me as a former Culture Secretary saying it. It’s scientifically proven. Access to the arts and social activities improves people’s mental and physical health. It makes us happier and healthier.

So that’s what I want to talk about today: how we can harness the incredible power of the arts and social activities to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

How the arts and social activities can help us move to more person-centred care and a focus on prevention as much as cure. And how social prescribing can shape our health and social care system in the future.

First: the power of the arts and social activities.

Now, I must pay tribute to Ed Vaizey for all his work in this field, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing for their Creative Health report, which applied some much needed rigorous analysis to the research.

And what they found is:

the arts and social activities can help keep us well, aid our recovery, and support longer lives better lived

the arts and social activities can help meet major challenges facing health and social care – ageing, loneliness, mental health, and other long-term conditions

and, the arts and social activities can help save money for the NHS and social care system

One project, a collaboration between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Hull’s stroke recovery service, used music sessions to help people after they’d had a stroke.

And what they found is through learning to play instruments, trying conducting, and eventually performing as part of an orchestra, nearly 90% of stroke patients felt better physically, with fewer dizzy spells and epileptic seizures, less anxiety, improved sleep, improved concentration and memory, better morale and more confidence.

That was just one study. Others across the country have seen similar successes.

In Lambeth, in south London, The Alchemy Project used dance as an early intervention against psychosis. The young people, who worked with dance experts, showed major improvements in concentration, communication, and wellbeing.

In Gloucestershire, hospitals are now referring patients with lung conditions to singing sessions. Sounds counter-intuitive? But no. Singing helps people, even with chronic lung conditions.

In my home county of Cheshire, Halton has now created a “Cultural Manifesto for Wellbeing”. Sounds grandiose, but it’s simple ideas like connecting school choirs to every local care home in the borough.

Simple ideas like the Southbank Centre using working poets to run a poetry course for people with dementia and their families.

Or the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, which helps children with autism communicate, people with dementia feel less anxious, and provided comfort to people facing terminal illness. Last year alone, they helped almost 8,000 people.

So those are just some of the examples of how the arts have benefited health. And we must remember this is still a very new medical field. Social prescribing only really started about 5 years ago.

Just the other day, Canada announced that it was going to start prescribing free museum visits to patients. Well, we’re lucky enough to have some of the world’s best museums for free, here in London.

But we need to ensure that the people who may benefit most, are aware of what’s available and that they’re accessible.

As Culture Secretary, one of the biggest challenges remains to change the perception of the arts as elitist or inaccessible, something I know is a personal priority for the new Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright.

And, I think this is a challenge we also have to overcome with arts and health and social prescribing. The arts are for everyone. And what pleased me most about Lord Howarth’s work with the APPG, what had the biggest positive effect, the common theme running through all the creative fields from literature, to music, to art is: personal creativity.

Taking part. Having a go. Dusting off forgotten skills. Or learning new ones.

So social prescribing isn’t about prescribing tickets to Hamilton or seeing a Titian at the National Gallery, as fun as they both may be. It’s about what’s right for you. What fits.

Don’t like opera? Fine. The doctor isn’t going to force you to sit through 17 hours of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Unless that doctor happens to be Michael Gove.

It’s about what works for you. How you can participate in the arts to improve your health. It’s about moving from patient-centred care to person-centred care. Stopping people from becoming patients in the first place. Which is the second thing I want to talk about today.

Right now, my department is working with the NHS to draw up a long-term plan for the future of our health and social care system.

The reasons are twofold:

we’re putting a record £20.5 billion extra a year into the NHS over the next 5 years, so we have to ensure we get the best possible return, and every penny of taxpayer’s money is well spent

and, society is changing ‒ we’re living longer, our needs are becoming more complex, our expectations of public services are growing; at least 20% of GP consultations are now due to things like housing, employment and relationship breakdowns

Now, those things may appear unrelated to health, but they’re not. It’s why yesterday I launched a new focus on prevention for our health and social care system. It’s one of my top 3 priorities, along with technology and workforce.

Because if we want to get prevention right, we must move to person-centred care. And this is how we do it:

by giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to take responsibility for their own health

by using new digital technologies to help people make informed decisions, work with healthcare professionals, to choose the services they need, when they need them

So, I see social prescribing as fundamental to prevention. And I see prevention as fundamental to the future of the NHS.

For too long we’ve been fostering a culture that’s popping pills and Prozac, when what we should be doing is more prevention and perspiration.

Social prescribing can help us combat over-medicalising people. Of dishing out drugs when it isn’t what’s best for the patient. And it won’t solve their problem.

Social prescribing is a tool that doctors can use to help them, help patients and help the NHS cut waste.

It’s the Goldilocks approach to medication: the right amount at the right time. No more, no less.

So under my vision for prevention, I see social prescribing growing in importance, becoming an indispensable tool for GPs, just like a thermometer or a stethoscope may be seen today.

And, together with a greater focus on diet, exercise, stopping smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and greater mental health support, how we move to more person-centred care, and build a health and social care system for the future.

So, finally, let me turn to the social prescribing ideas that we’re looking at together with the Arts Council and DCMS.

First, social prescribing through libraries. There are nearly 3,000 libraries in England. Many of them already do great work in helping people become better informed patients so they can better manage their own health.

What we’re looking at is if more libraries can offer health services, and if we can expand the existing health services libraries already offer.

Norfolk’s Healthy Libraries Initiative is a great example of libraries being used for stop smoking and healthy living sessions.

But if we can connect even more libraries to GP surgeries and primary and community care services, and increase training for librarians on social prescription referrals, then we could reach even more people, and make libraries even more vital and valued to their local communities.

So things like: dance classes for elderly people, choirs for loneliness and mental health reading groups. Using our libraries and librarians to intervene earlier and improve public health.

Second, we’re looking at how music can help people with dementia. How it can reduce the need for medication. How it can reduce agitation and combative behaviour. How it can reduce the need for restraints and help people with dementia, and their families, cope better with symptoms.

And I must pay tribute to the pioneering work of the charity Playlist for Life. Their work creating personal playlists for people with dementia led to a 60% reduction in the need for psychotropic medication at one care home.

This is the kind of cheap, easy-to-use social prescription that I’m fully behind. Because dementia is one of the major health challenges we face for the future. The number of people with dementia is set to rise from 850,000 today to more than a million in less than a decade. Personal playlists could offer a simple solution to this growing problem.

And third, we will create a National Academy for Social Prescribing to be the champion of, build the research base, and set out the benefits of social prescribing across the board, from the arts to physical exercise, to nutritional advice and community classes. A resource which GPs and other frontline health workers can draw on for guidance and expertise. Where they can learn what works, and what’s available in their communities.

Because social prescription reduces over subscription of drugs. It can lead to the same or better outcomes for patients without popping pills. And it saves the NHS money, because many of these social cures are cheaper or free.

Now, drug companies may not like that. And you can bet this multi-billion pound industry will use every tool at their disposal to lobby for the status quo and convince us drugs are better than free social cures. That’s why we need a National Academy for Social Prescribing to be a champion for non-drug treatments. And it’s the role of the state to sponsor the treatments that are often cheaper, better for patients, and better for society.

Now, I remain open to any idea. I’m not wedded to any one model. What’s most important is what’s proven to work. And my department will work with NHS trusts, providers, staff and with colleagues from DCMS and Arts Council England, so we can share our expertise and learn from each other.

Social prescription is about making better use of what we already have. About making the arts and social activities more accessible.

We’re the country of Shakespeare, The Beatles, Harry Potter and Harry Kane’s right foot.

But we’re also a country of community choirs, reading circles and the Bury St Edmond’s Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, which you’ll find in my wonderful constituency of West Suffolk.

People coming together. Taking part in arts and social activities, getting involved in something that’s good for our health and good for society.

Arts, social activities and health in action. Life saving, life enhancing, making life worth living. So let’s work together to make it happen.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech to Royal College of Nursing

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, at the Royal College of Nursing on 31 October 2018.

There’s a reason nurses are so close to the nation’s heart: because you are there for us when we need you.

And there’s a reason nurses are so close to my heart. My grandmother was a nurse. She was there when the NHS was born. And she remained a nurse until she died.

For we all know you never stop being a nurse. Not when you leave work. Not when you’re at home. Not when you retire. You’re the one who looks after your family’s health.

You’re a nurse because you have the commitment that has shaped this noblest of professions since Florence Nightingale: compassion, cool heads, caring for others no matter how bad the situation, no matter how bleak the prognosis.

Today, I want to talk about our support for nurses, how we need more nurses, and how we’ve got a plan to make that happen.

But as well as that, I want to address one question head on: how could anyone hit a nurse?

It beggars belief that anyone could even think of attacking a nurse, or a doctor, or paramedic, or emergency worker of any kind, as they go about their jobs of public service. Any attack on a nurse, or an emergency worker, is an attack too many.

And I know I am not alone. There is overwhelming public support for the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act we have brought into law.

It is absolutely right that anyone who assaults an emergency worker faces tougher penalties and longer prison sentences. Because an assault on you is an assault on us ‒ and we will not tolerate it.

So, today I want to talk about how we can tackle violence against nurses and our NHS staff. But it’s not the only thing I want to talk about. Because I believe that increasing violence, bullying and harassment against our NHS staff is just one symptom of a system in need of change. A system I am determined to improve.

So let us ask: how are we going to tackle violence against NHS staff?

Now, I must pay tribute to Chris Bryant for all his work on bringing about this new legislation. The support for his Private Members’ Bill, from every part of the House of Commons, shows what an important and unifying issue this is.

And I must pay tribute to all the work the RCN has done in calling for this legislation, and then helping us to shape it so that all nurses delivering NHS care, wherever they work and whoever they work for, are protected by this new law. It was the right thing to do. We listened to you, and we did it.

But legislation is just the start, so today I am launching the first ever NHS violence reduction strategy to protect our NHS workforce against deliberate violence and aggression from patients and the public.

I have made it my personal mission to ensure NHS staff feel safe and secure at work and the new strategy, created together with the Social Partnership Forum, will take a zero-tolerance approach to attacks and assaults against our staff.

I want my department to work with the NHS, police forces, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Social Partnership Forum and the RCN to ensure this strategy succeeds so the new law works for you. So you can easily report any incident, so every incident is taken seriously and investigated fully, and so the ‒ often difficult ‒ process of giving evidence doesn’t create more work for you.

The NHS has a duty of care to its patients and its staff. So the CQC will scrutinise NHS trusts’ violence reduction plans as part of their inspection regime. This isn’t about penalising people, but identifying which trusts need support to reduce violence against staff, whether that’s by better building design or improved procedures.

Along with more effective and quicker prosecutions, greater scrutiny and accountability, we’re also looking at how we can get better data ‒ and how we can make better use of that data to identify high-risk jobs and areas.

So, we’re working with NHS providers to develop a new way of recording assaults and other incidents of abuse or harassment. That way we can better understand the scale of the problem and the solutions we need to devise, because a ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t going to solve this.

We know that while paramedics may face the greatest danger from drunk young men at kicking-out time on a Friday or Saturday night, that isn’t true for a nurse in a mental health trust where most violent incidents occur between 10 and 11 in the morning. Or in the acute sector, where those most likely to be responsible for assaults are aged 75 or over.

We also know that many assaults are carried out by people with dementia, brain injuries or other mental health issues. So prosecution isn’t always appropriate or in the best interests of patients or staff.

But together with more effective prosecution and better data, we also need to improve staff training and staff support. The current training in de-escalation and conflict resolution will be reviewed and revised.

And, we’re listening to you about the type of support you need. Since launching the #TalkHealthCare public platform in September we have received many new ideas about how we can improve the work environment.

I would urge anyone who has not done so already to share your ideas: your voice will be heard and acted on.

We must work together to solve this, and make the NHS live up to the promise I know it can be: the best place to work in the world.

Tackling violence alone won’t do that. That brings me to nursing numbers and morale, which we all know are inextricably linked, but let me take each in turn.

Numbers. Simply put: we need more. And that means more permanent nurses, not more agency workers.

We need a long-term solution that provides the full benefits of NHS employment and makes financial sense for NHS employers.

To create a steady stream of talent we increased the number of training places available for nurses and doctors. There are now more than 52,000 nurses in training, and we have made more funding available to increase the number of training places available to universities.

Now, I know some have been looking back to the old bursary model, but it was in effect a cap on the numbers of people who could enter the profession each year. The latest figures show there were more applications than available places this year.

But we know there is more work to do with universities to get the right people on to the right courses, and to open up the profession to people from all backgrounds, and ensure they get the support they need to complete their training so they can serve in our NHS.

That is something we will specifically address in the long-term plan for the NHS, but we are also taking action in the short term.

We’re helping providers to recruit from abroad by removing doctors and nurses from the cap on tier 2 visas. That’s good for the NHS and good for the country.

Health Education England’s ‘earn, learn, return’ schemes are helping overseas nurses come to the UK, contribute to the NHS and take back what they’ve learned to help their communities.

And, this isn’t just about recruiting more, it’s about holding on to the excellent and experienced people we already have by making their working lives easier and more fulfilling.

Because we can’t go back, we must go forward. I want to work with you on what measures we can take now to get more people into the wonderful profession of nursing.

So we will listen to you; we will work with you. This will involve new money, new ideas, and new ways of working.

The budget allocated £20 billion more each year to the NHS, and repairs and patching up the old system isn’t going to cut it. Not if we’re to meet the unprecedented challenge of an ageing society. Not if we’re to harness the game-changing potential promised by artificial intelligence and genomics.

It’s time to trade in the family car for a newer model ‒ one that’s got room for everyone. But one that’s safer, better and more efficient.

I want you to come with me on this journey because out of my top 3 priorities – tech, prevention, workforce – workforce is the most important.

That means ensuring you feel recognised and valued. That your concerns are addressed and your voices heard.

Morale matters, which is the final thing I want to talk about.

It matters not only because it’s better for you to feel happy and fulfilled at work. It matters because it’s better for patients too. Both in terms of the treatment they receive and their outcomes.

So, it’s not right that nearly 4 in 10 of you reported feeling unwell due to work-related stress last year. And it’s not right that more than half of you said you came into work sick because you felt under pressure to do so.

I want this to change. As well as the numbers, it means getting the small things right:

ensuring you have adequate time for rest and recovery
that there’s somewhere you can go to, someone you can talk to, if you need help
that we have the best, most up-to-date technology available to cut your workload and make your lives easier
These are all things I am pushing for. And I want you to push me, and my department, if you feel we need to do more.

But, I also have a challenge for you. Something we have failed to address ‒ something vital not just for morale, but that underpins the universal treatment principle on which the NHS was founded: we, must tackle racial inequality within the nursing profession.

Too many black and ethnic minority nurses find it too hard to progress in their careers. Too many black and ethnic minority nurses are paid less than their white counterparts. And too many nurses encounter bias or discrimination because of the colour of their skin, or where they come from.

This is indefensible. It runs counter to the values of the NHS we love, and it must change.

I believe in equality of opportunity and embracing diversity with every fibre of my being. I believe in it, not just because of fairness and because it’s the right thing to do, but because of the benefits it brings.

And the data proves it. The Workforce Race Equality Standard numbers show that progress on tackling racial equality has a positive impact for all staff.

Research by Professor Michael West shows that the experience of black and ethnic minority ethnic staff is a good barometer of the climate of respect and care for all staff within the NHS.

We see it in some of the best trusts. By making continuous improvements for BME staff, trusts have seen similar improvements for their entire workforce.

Those are the benefits of racial equality, of embracing diversity rather than merely tolerating it. Those are the changes I want to see, and my challenge to you.

I will work with you to tackle violence. I will work with you to increase nursing numbers. I will work with you to improve morale and give you all the support that you need.

Let us work together to build a nursing profession, and an NHS in which we can all take pride.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech to Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, at the Conservative Party Conference held in Birmingham on 3 October 2018.

It’s a real privilege to be Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

I love the NHS, and I want to talk about what we’re going to do to make sure it’s always there for you and your family…

…in the way it’s always been there for mine.

Last year, my sister Emily had a near-fatal brain injury.

Her life was saved by the NHS at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Last month, I had the chance to go, with her, back to Southmead and say thank you.

They took us in from the helipad, where she’d been taken off the air ambulance …

… in through A&E where they’d stabilised her…

… and into the Intensive Care Unit.

And as we went in, standing there, directly opposite, was the consultant who’d looked after her.

Until that moment, she couldn’t remember anything about it.

But when she saw him, she knew exactly who he was and went over and gave him a great big hug.

It was an incredible moment.

And when she thanked him, his reply will always stick with me.

He said “It wasn’t just me, it was the whole team.”

And that sums up our NHS.

I love my sister, and the NHS saved her life.

So when I say I love the NHS, I really mean it.

But the truth is, they would have done this for anyone.

For my sister – for yours.

And what an honour it is to be in a position to be able to say thank you to the guy who saved your sister’s life.

So my heartfelt thanks is not just from one brother to one doctor, or from one family to one hospital.


The NHS is there for us all.

And I want to say this,

From everyone in this nation,

To every person who works in the NHS:

We salute you.

We value you.

And from the bottom of our hearts:

Thank you.

I’m proud of the NHS for what it’s delivering today.

Cancer survival rates are at a record high.

Strokes are down by a third.

Deaths from heart failure down by a quarter.

And the NHS is doing more than ever.

39,000 more clinicians looking after patients than in 2010.

12,000 more nurses on our wards.

14,000 more doctors.

1 million more seen by cancer specialists each year.

2 million more operations.

3 million more treated in A&E.

And, the result of all this:

At every age and every stage of life, people are healthier than ever.

That’s what our NHS is delivering under this Conservative Government.

But anyone who knows the NHS…

… also knows there are serious pressures, because our population is ageing and we’re treating more people than ever before.

I know this.

It’s clear to anyone.

Social care is under pressure too.

I know the pressures.

And we’re going to address them.

Because I want us to make the NHS the best health service in the world.

And today I want to talk a bit about how.

First of all, it can’t be done without more money.

The Prime Minister has committed an extra £20 billion over the next five years.

£20 billion.

It’s the largest, longest financial settlement in the entire history of the NHS, and it’ll underpin the NHS for the long term.

And when people ask that we spell out our domestic agenda – you tell them this.

We’ve taken this decision.

We have made our choice.

We have responded to the public mood and the clear needs of the service…

…with boldness.

Let me say: this policy is not without cost.

I know that.

And I know it’s audacious.

But I profoundly believe it to be right, and I’m proud to serve a Prime Minister who believes it to be right too.

This money comes on stream next year.

But I want to help the NHS through this winter too.

I’ve already provided funding for hospitals to make upgrades to their buildings to deal with pressures this winter.

And I can announce that today I am making an extra £240 million available to pay for social care packages this winter to support our NHS.

We’ll use this money to get people who don’t need to be in hospital…

…but do need care…

… back home…

…back into their communities…

…so we can free up those vital hospital beds…

… and help people who really need it, get the hospital care they deserve.

But money alone isn’t enough.

We need to make sure that money’s well spent, by reforming the NHS and social care system too…

… to make sure it’s always there for you and your family.

So, along with the NHS themselves, we’re writing a long term plan to guarantee its future.

And I’m hugely grateful to my departmental team who are working together with me on these reforms:

Steve Barclay,

Caroline Dinenage,

Jackie Doyle-Price,

Steve Brine,

James O’Shaughnessy,

Wendy Morton,

Alex Chalk,

and Maggie Throup.

It’s great working as part of this team, pulling together.

And I tell you this, as a party, we’ve got to pull together.

Because we saw with Labour last week the frightening prospect for our country if we fail.

They’ve got nothing new and every time their programme’s been tried, it’s failed and brought misery on millions.

It’s our duty to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

One of the major reforms we need to see is bringing new technology across the health and care system.

And obviously I’ve been able to consult widely about this in the last few days…

… because CCHQ’s given everyone my phone number.

Of course introducing new technology can be bumpy.

But the potential benefits are huge.

But the NHS is still the biggest buyer of fax machines in the country…

…maybe even the world.

And this is putting even greater pressures on our NHS staff.

In some hospitals a nurse still goes round with a clip board to find out where beds are in use and where they’re empty.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In Derriford Hospital in Plymouth where I was on a nightshift with Johnny Mercer last week…

… they’ve developed an in-house programme so everyone knows where the empty beds are all the time.

Patients get better treatment and it’s so much easier for staff.

So we’re going to sort out the technology in the NHS, because our NHS deserves better.

Of course, it’s not just about sorting the IT.

It’s about seizing the huge cutting edge opportunities.

Let’s take one example.

Today, it takes on average more than 5 years to diagnose rare diseases with endless tests and trial treatments.

But thanks to the 100,000 genome project, now, by combining your own gene sequence with machine learning on others, you can be diagnosed in days.

And what’s more, from just a swab of saliva, there’s the potential to design a drug specifically to treat your unique biological code.

In this city, the university hospital is growing replicas of people’s cancers in the lab to test individual drugs to see if they destroy the cancer before subjecting the patient to that drug.

It increases the chance of cure and it reduces the agony of unsuccessful treatments.

It’s unbelievable and it’s happening right here in Birmingham.

And I’m so proud that it’s thanks to a decision by David Cameron and this Conservative Government that this is happening at all.

I want to go further.

So I can announce today that we’re expanding our 100,000 genome project so one million whole genomes will now be sequenced…

… with a long term vision of 5 million…

… and I want to make it available to all.

And what this means in practice for you and your family is this.

From today, our brand new NHS Genomic Medicine Service will roll out access to genomic testing.

So for everyone with a rare cancer, and for all seriously ill children, it’ll be available on the NHS…

… so we’ll have tailor made treatments and tailor made drugs that are the best fit for a patient not a best guess.

We’re leading the world, and I’m incredibly excited about this technology because of its potential to change lives for the better.

It’s just one example. But it shows the kind of reform we need to make sure the NHS is the best health service in the world.

But new technology is not enough to make the health and social care system sustainable.

We need other reforms too.

We’ve got to reform the system…

…so we spend more time on prevention not cure…

…with more integration between health and social care…

…and more treatment closer to home.

What I mean by this, is that the era of moving all activity into fewer larger hospitals…

…and blindly, invariably, closing community hospitals…

…that era is over.

I want more services closer to the communities they serve.

And I want us to empower people to have more control over their own health too.

Whether it’s the rising risk of obesity, the scourge of gambling addiction, or the growing challenge of mental illness…

…these problems, and the increasing demands they put on our health service, can only truly be solved by prevention as much as cure.

We can’t go on treating them just as medical problems.

We need to look after people as people, not just as patients…

…and foster a culture less popping pills and Prozac…

…and more prevention and perspiration.

That includes acting on new evidence and interventions to support people with obesity and other conditions…

…whether it be through prescribing exercise, the arts, or nutritional advice…

…rather than yet more drugs and medical interventions.

Or in the language I prefer to use – it’s common sense.

We need reforms of social care too, to make it sustainable for the long term.

So people don’t have to fear the risk of losing everything…

… if for a reason outside their control they end up needing care when they’re old.

Reform of social care is long overdue…

… and we’ll publish a paper later this year setting out the progress we can make to give all people confidence and dignity in old age.

And of course, we can’t do any of these reforms without our GPs.

Our GPs are the bedrock of the NHS.

They’re everyone’s first port of call.

We need more of them, better supported, and better equipped.

Prevention of ill health is nothing without primary care.

So we back our nation’s GPs every step of the way.

Now, I believe that this need for reform…

…does not simply lie with the NHS or our social care system.

We too, as a party, must be driven by this imperative of reform.

We’ve always been at our best when we’ve been reforming…

… when we look to the future.

Who abolished slavery in the 19th century?

Who delivered equal votes for women in the 20th?

Who brought in equal marriage in the 21st?

Not the Whigs, or the Liberals, or the Labour party.

It was the Conservative party.

Throughout history we’ve shown we’re at our best when we’re in favour of the future…

… not fixated on the past.

But it’s more than that.

We can’t just be comfortable with Modern Britain.

We’ve got to be the champions of Modern Britain.

Pro jobs, pro business, pro prosperity…

… helping everyone who wants to achieve…

…to achieve their potential.

We can’t fear the future…

… we’ve got to embrace the future.

We embrace the future or we embrace defeat.

The Conservative party is the party that’s always understood the spirit of this great nation.

That spirit today calls for opportunity for all…

…without fear or favour.

Now more than ever…

… we’ve got to give it all we’ve got…

… because our opponents are not resting either.

So let us unite together.

Let us embrace our NHS…

… let us embrace reform…

… and with everything we have…

…let us serve this great nation we love.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech at Launch of Tech Nation

Matt Hancock

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on 17 May 2018.

Good morning.

It’s a great pleasure to be here and it’s a very exciting day to mark Tech City UK and Tech North evolving into Tech Nation and the launch of this fourth Tech Nation report .

The name says a lot. This rebranding shows Tech Nation’s commitment to being the sort of dynamic organisation that we’ve got used to round here in east London, but also spreading the benefits right across the country as a whole.

I warmly welcome this move and the progress you have been making in recent years.

Today’s milestone is a great opportunity to step back and think about what we’re doing, and to keep up this momentum for the UK as a place to start and grow a tech business.

Because it is as vital now as it’s ever been. The impact over the last decade has been huge.

The tech sector has been growing over two-and-a-half times faster than the rest of the economy; but there is much more to do. There are challenges we must face and people snapping at our heels.

And along with Tech Nation, we are working regionally, nationally and globally so the UK is ready for these challenges that lie ahead.


Tech Nation and its predecessors, have been championing regional tech clusters since 2014.

And I am thrilled with the ambitious plans to help 40,000 entrepreneurs and 4,000 start-ups to scale and to deliver this support directly into a dozen key cities around the UK.

And the crucial Government aim, stated clearly in our Digital Strategy, is making sure that the benefits of growth and the tech sector work for everyone in our country.

We are committed to encouraging investment and developing tech clusters right across the UK.

It is easy, especially here in the centre of London, to focus on the prosperity that we see here in London, and of course this is mission critical. Nobody gains by doing down our world beating capital.

But we need to have a full-spectrum approach, so everybody can participate and get the benefits. And so far, there have been some brilliant results.

London is a fantastic haven for European tech investment. But did you know this? Nearly 70 per cent of investment into the UK tech sector last year was in regional clusters beyond the capital.

The benefits of digital for local economies are incredibly clear – 16 towns now show a higher proportion of digital tech employment than the UK average.

And over 1.5 million people across the country belong to more than 3,000 informal tech meetup groups.

That’s people up and down this country working together to develop their businesses, and as they do so, powering their local economies.

So I’m really encouraged that Tech Nation is going to take this work to the next level and provide some of that entrepreneurial juice to expand their programmes even further, to truly connect right across the cities of the UK.


As a nation, our digital tech sector is in great shape, supported by the fantastic work Tech Nation has done and the engagement with all of you here.

But to attract more investment and support, we need to fly even higher in the future, and we need to shout loud about this success.

After all, the tech sector nationally is booming and the numbers speak for themselves.

Over £100 billion added to the UK economy in 2016 and real opportunities for investment. After Silicon Valley, London ranks as the second most connected place for tech in the whole world.

And you can rest assured we are firmly committed to maintaining this thriving tech sector and this energy.

Because we want the UK to be the location of choice for tech innovation and investment – so we can build our world-leading digital economy.

Our Digital Strategy, launched about 15 months ago, sets out the key pillars of how we are putting that into practice.

It’s about making sure that nationally there’s great infrastructure. This means rolling out the existing infrastructure, but also unlocking the potential of full fibre and 5G.

Second, making sure the skills needed are there to fully engage with the digital world.

A full spectrum approach, from people getting on the internet for the first time, which now includes over 90% of the population, all the way through to the highest end skills and capabilities and beyond.

From making coding in the curriculum compulsory at school age, through to supporting a more flexible labour market and expanding digital training for adults, so we have a far-reaching programme to support digital skills.

Third, making sure the UK is the safest place to live and work online. Not least through the National Cyber Security Programme and it is great to see people from the upcoming London Cyber Innovation Centre here.

All of these things mark us out as an incredible destination for tech.

Part of our task is to pull off the tricky balance between ensuring we make the UK a safe place to be online, whilst also being unambiguous about our enthusiasm and support for innovation.

And for making sure that we use the freedoms that this amazing technology brings.

And I want Tech Nation to be both conveners and cheerleaders – encouraging investment and also telling the world what our tech sector can do.

I want everybody here to talk to the Government about what more we can do to make the UK a great place to grow a digital business.

As someone who started in a tech company, I know that answers to this questions are not only to be found in Whitehall but are to be found in conversations with you as you grow your businesses.

Asking the questions. What can we do to make your lives easier? And how can we help you to expand?


The Tech Nation report has quickly been established as an invaluable industry resource.

And this year’s report confirms we are well placed to achieve our goal of making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business.

It has also been helpful in identifying where our strengths lie.

One of those important strengths is in Fintech and AI. We and Tech Nation are doing a huge amount to cultivate AI.

And travelling to America and India in the last couple of weeks, people have already noticed the effort and cold hard cash we have put into driving its development.

The nature of tech is collaborative. But having said all that I still want the UK to be the leader…

So we’ll work with you and Tech Nation to make sure this happens.

I’m sure you all know that research already ranks the UK as the most AI ready country in the world.

That’s to say we’re the best prepared to seize and exploit the amazing potential of this transformative technology.

But we are a medium sized country and the US, China, India and other larger countries are working hard to make sure they too are leading.

This is not an opportunity we are prepared to let slip. The investment from Government is deadly serious and crucially it can only be done in partnership, with you, in the private sector.

You may have seen last month brought the fantastic news that the British cybersecurity company, Darktrace, whose “immune system” is powered by AI, have become the latest unicorn, when they hit a valuation of over a billion dollars.

We should all take confidence from Darktrace and its success.

And we are seeing this dominance in FinTech too. There are now more people working in UK Fintech than in New York – or in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia combined.

We have real strengths in bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and in crowdfunding.

And this spirit of innovation and enterprise is exactly what we need. To work with other nations at a time when agreements and frameworks on new technologies will become more important than ever.

And especially as we leave the EU, we are determined to seize many opportunities around the world, as part of becoming a truly Global Britain.

Open and outward looking. Engaging with the world and gregarious.

And to do that, we need the best tech talent from home and abroad. Making sure that we train people here at home, but also attracting the brightest and best.

We have doubled the number of exceptional talent visas. We have met with technology experts to make sure the processes are as efficient as possible.

While we are updating immigration rules so that world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed as ‘exceptional talent’ can apply for settlement after three years in this country.

The countries and economies that succeed in this digital world are those that are outward-looking and forward-looking and that is the approach we will take as we leave the EU.


I am determined that the UK will be the best place in the world to become a digital citizen.

Because tech is a real force for good.

It makes our services better and our products faster.

It creates wider benefits for communities across the UK.

We can’t do this alone in Government, just as private companies can’t do it alone either.

The answer lies in working together to create the conditions for success and that’s why Tech Nation is such an asset.

You’ve been driving the creation of jobs. The development of skills and improvement of productivity.

It’s great for our economy and it is great for our society too.

And every single person in this room has their part to play.

You’re part of a Great British renaissance and it’s a joy and honour to be part of it too.

Thank you very much.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech at Commonwealth Sports Breakfast

Matt Hancock

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on 20 April 2018.

Your Royal Highness, your excellencies, lords, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a real pleasure to be here to celebrate the Commonwealth, which is as relevant and important today as it has ever been.

The Commonwealth is an enduring bond that exists between us all and stands for our shared belief in the beacons of democracy and freedom.

The phenomenal Gold Coast Games showed the strength of this connection and the powerful role of sport in bringing people together.

Over the past two weeks we have seen world-class sport, enthusiastic crowds and a record number of Commonwealth nations celebrating medals.

And it was wonderful to see so many success stories from the Home Nations.

Duncan Scott’s six medal haul in the swimming pool. Northern Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan on the Pommel Horse.

Hollie Arnold making Wales proud with her World Record Javelin throw to win Gold.

And Team England’s last-minute victory in the Netball – I’m thrilled to welcome Eboni and Kadeen here today from that gold winning team.

You may think that this is a joke but Kadeen and I are actually going to play netball right after this breakfast. I haven’t played netball for twenty years and I was inspired to get back onto the pitch by your performance.

Just as the Gold Coast Games has brought people together, this Breakfast gives us a real opportunity to come together and reflect on how we can spread the benefits of sport far and wide.

Sport as a social good
Sport is a social good. It brings us together. It can improve physical and mental health, provide valuable leadership skills and promote social integration.

It is also an important way of promoting equality, through giving the spotlight to positive role models for under-represented groups.

I have always loved watching para-sports, especially as Owen Pick, one of England’s promising para-athletes, hails from my constituency.

I am thrilled by this year’s largest ever para-sport programme, a shining example of the diversity of the Commonwealth sports movement.

But for sport to remain a social good we need to make sure it is open to all.

What a fantastic opportunity today to reaffirm our commitment to casting aside barriers to taking part in the sports we love.

Louise – you outlined the important work the CGF has been doing in this area.

We need to maintain this focus. And we need to keep sharing information and knowledge across the Commonwealth on how to use sport to bring people together.

So that everybody can have the opportunity to represent their nation on the global stage.

Sport reflects our common values
Sport at its best is a reflection of our common values.

In the past six years we have welcomed the world to the UK for some enthralling events.

For the Olympics, the Paralympics, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the Rugby Union World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, the Athletics World Championships and many more.

All of these successful and memorable events had something in common. They showed our nation at its best. Welcoming, open and enthusiastic host cities and exhilarating celebrations of talent from across the world.

And this will be the case in Birmingham too, when it gets the chance to tell its story in 2022.

Birmingham is England’s most diverse city outside London, reflecting the kaleidoscope of cultures that can be found across the Commonwealth.

And believe it or not Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe, at a time when 60 per cent of the Commonwealth is aged 30 or under.

And as we saw at Birmingham’s brilliant handover performance on Sunday, youth engagement will be a major theme of the Birmingham Games.

The Games will aim to promote young people on the world stage – whether they are athletes, performers or volunteers.

Because sport reflects our common future. And the Birmingham Games is about the future too.

It’s about a bright future for the region, and the nation, as a first class destination for education, tourism and trade.

The Games will boost regeneration in the area, with exciting plans being developed for new housing projects and a lasting legacy for culture and sport.

And it will drive an outstanding cultural programme, reaching out to the Commonwealth whilst telling the story of one of its most vibrant cities.

Sporting events aren’t just about what takes places on the pitch, the track or in the pool. They also present a fantastic opportunity to spark new trade relationships and forge new trade deals.

We are committed to building strong and enduring trading partnerships with our friends across the Commonwealth.

As part of this mission, there will be a trade Expo before the Birmingham Games and a four year programme to build business links with Commonwealth nations.

The Expo, and the Commonwealth Games, will be an important milestone in the rich and colorful history of Birmingham.

This is Birmingham’s chance. To show its place as the heart and the soul of the Commonwealth, as it brings together athletes and supporters from across the world.

Not just for the Games, but also for a wider mission. Promoting the power of sport to help change lives for the better.

And making sure we give everyone the opportunity and inspiration to go for gold, across the whole Commonwealth of our nations.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Statement on Sky/Fox Merger

Matt Hancock

Below is the text of the statement made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in the House of Commons on 3 April 2018.

Mr Speaker, I am here in my new capacity as the quasi-judicial decision-maker in relation to the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky Plc to update the House regarding the CMAs interim report that they issued today.

The decision-making role is one that my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for Staffordshire Moorlands discharged having met her commitment – given many times on the floor of this House – to the greatest possible transparency and openness the process allows.

And while I come to this fresh I intend to follow that process of being as open as possible while respecting the quasi-judicial nature of the decision.

Background and referral

As this House well knows, after the proposed acquisition was formally notified to the competition authorities last year, my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Staffordshire Moorlands issued an Intervention Notice on media public interest grounds – namely of media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards. This triggered a Phase 1 investigation of the merger, requiring Ofcom to report on the specified public interest grounds and the CMA on jurisdiction.

Having received advice from Ofcom and from the CMA, in September she referred the proposed Sky / Fox merger to the CMA for a Phase 2 investigation on both grounds.

CMA’s final report

The original statutory deadline for the final report was 6 March but the CMA has, today, confirmed that this will be extended by a further eight weeks and that the revised deadline is 1 May.

Once I have received that final report I must come to a decision on whether – taking into account the specified public interest considerations of media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards – the merger operates or may be expected to operate against the public interest.

Following receipt of the final report, I will have 30 working days in which to publish my decision on the merger – so if I receive the CMA’s report on 1 May that would be 13 June.

CMA’s provisional report

To be clear the publication today is the CMA’s provisional findings. I have placed a copy in the House Library.

With regards to the need for a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards – the CMA provisionally finds that the merger is not expected to operate against the public interest.

On media plurality grounds the CMA provisional finding is that the merger may be against the public interest. It cites concerns that the transaction could reduce the independence of Sky News and would reduce the diversity of viewpoints available to, and consumed by, the public. It also raised concerns that the Murdoch Family Trust would have increased influence over public opinion and the political agenda.

The CMA has identified three remedy approaches and seeks views from interested parties on them. These remedy approaches are:

Firstly, to prohibit the transaction.

Secondly, undertake structural remedies – either to recommend the spin-off of Sky News into a new company, or to recommend the divestiture of Sky News.

Thirdly, behavioural remedies which could for example include enhanced requirements around the editorial independence of Sky News.

The CMA also recognises that the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney could address concerns set out in the provisional findings; however the uncertainty about whether, when, or how, that transaction will complete means the CMA has also set out potential approaches which include introducing remedies which would fall away subject to the Disney / Fox transaction completing.

The CMA has invited written representations on the provisional report’s findings, and the potential remedy approaches, with 21st Century Fox and Sky – as well as other interested parties – before producing a final report.

As such, and given the quasi-judicial nature of this process, I hope the House will understand that I cannot comment substantively on the provisional report before us and I must wait for the final report before I comment.


I am, however, aware of the keen interest of the House on this important matter. I know that Right Honourable and Honourable Members will be closely scrutinising the CMA’s provisional findings and will have views on them.

The CMA’s investigation will continue over the coming weeks – it has set out the process for making representations on the remedy options outlined, and on the provisional findings, with deadlines of 6 February and 13 February, respectively. I feel sure that today’s debate will provide helpful context for that work.

Next steps

What I am able to confirm today is that – I will undertake to keep the House fully informed, and follow the right and proper process considering all the evidence carefully when the time comes to make my decision on receipt of the CMA’s final report.

I commend this statement to the House.