CONFERENCE PRESS RELEASE ...‘Out of the GP surgery, into the supermarket,’ predicts 2030 cost-busting vision of NHS care

Posted: 23 September 2013 by admin

Embargoed for publication before: 00.01 Thurs 26 September 2013
Contact: Jack O’Sullivan 07779 655585

The future of most primary healthcare could move, within decades, from the GP’s surgery into supermarkets, according to a ‘blue skies thinking’ report, published at the launch of a new healthcare think tank.

Press Release 
Twenty-Thirty Report

‘Imagine,’ argue the authors, ‘a body scanner in a supermarket, hooked up to highly sophisticated computer software that can diagnose abnormalities more effectively and faster than a doctor today. This automated system might even prescribe some treatments and instantly book appropriate appointments.

‘Combine that with a revolution in knowledge about each individual: DNA profiling could identify individual risk factors while real-time health monitoring, using a wristwatch or implanted device, could take, transmit and interpret dozens of measurements daily. Put all these developments together and a significantly different model of healthcare begins to emerge, potentially substituting the roles of some healthcare professionals, thereby cutting the costs of some services and freeing up funds to afford the demographic pressures that we face.’

This radical vision is one of several potential futures explored in ‘Twenty-Thirty,’ a new report published today (26 September) by the Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU) and designed to inform strategic policy making for UK healthcare over the next two decades, up to 2030.

The report was developed by consulting some of the country’s top healthcare managers, clinicians, academics, strategists and policy makers. It concludes that the most radical and fruitful developments are likely to occur – and provide the best chance of cost-busting change in the NHS – if two factors combine: radical adoption of technological innovation plus big increases in people’s involvement in their personal healthcare.

Today’s report is published at the London launch of the new Healthcare Infrastructure Forum where its details will be presented by its authors, Chris Evennett, an independent management consultant, who worked in the NHS for 30 years, and Imperial College London’s Professor James Barlow, a co-founder of the Healthcare Infrastructure Forum and member of PIRU.

The Healthcare Infrastructure Forum has been created by a partnership of four UK universities to provide independent and informed debate, offer high level research and to support policy review around the development of healthcare services and infrastructure.

Chris Evennett said: ‘New technologies, allowing innovative models of healthcare, plus much increased public involvement in healthcare, hold at least the potential for cost-savings. They could defuse the demographic time-bomb fast ticking away for UK healthcare and open up the possibility of new models of caring.’

Professor James Barlow said: ‘Our report is being published at the launch of the Healthcare Infrastructure Forum because the transformation of service delivery required over the coming years must go hand in hand with radical changes in infrastructure. HIF will be a bridge to 21st Century healthcare infrastructure.’

Notes to Editors:

1. ‘Twenty-Thirty’  is published by the Policy Innovation Research Unit, based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It develops rigorous research evidence to support innovation in health and social care policy

2. The Healthcare Infrastructure Forum has been developed from a partnership of Imperial College London with the Universities of Loughborough, Reading and Salford and the European Centre for Healthcare Assets and Architecture

3. Copies of ‘Twenty-Thirty’ and a summary of the arguments by the authors – can be found at and and

4. Further information: Contact: Jack O’Sullivan 07779 655585