Simon Stevens and your Consultant Interview


With this week’s headline grabbing news story, it would be safe to assume that every doctor will now know the name of NHS England’s new Chief Executive.  In his high profile interview in the Daily Telegraph, Simon Stevens, outlined his opinion that the NHS is at a defining moment, why he took at 10 per cent pay cut to lead the NHS and, most controversially, his belief in the importance of smaller community hospitals.

So what does this actually mean?  Is this a complete volte face for the development of services back to a previous time?  Alternatively, is it a progression and natural evolution to something new; something which could not happen without the centralisation approach of recent times?  What are the implications to the organisational and financial structures of the NHS?  What do patients’ actually want?  Does that matter?  After all, to quote Henry Ford:  “”If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses!”

Any doctor who is seeking a new consultant position and preparing themselves for interview would do well to consider such questions.  On our Consultant Interview Courses, we explore such hot topics in depth, emphasising the importance of both knowing the facts and being able to convey a considered opinion.  Consultants are expected to be leaders with influence and this ability must be demonstrated to the interview panel.  In order to express a relevant opinion on any topic, the facts must be known, the potentially conflicting views of all stakeholders understood and you must be able to clearly explain your thoughts.  This takes dedicated effort and it is best to set aside time for effective preparation.

So what do you think about Simon Stevens recent statements regarding the role of smaller community hospitals?  Why do you think that?