Like so many other people I joined the NHS – 26 years ago – because I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. If you chat to any ward sister, junior doctor, therapist or care assistant, you’ll hear the same story.

So NHS Change Day is about harnessing our collective energy, creativity and ideas. It’s about putting power in the hands of those who know better than anyone where change is needed. And it reminds us that the NHS isn’t just a care and repair service, but a social movement that unites the whole country.

Speaking personally, I’m spending today talking to people with learning disabilities and their families about how to overhaul the care they get – by giving them the clout so that their needs and choices really count. And I’ll be getting ‘dementia friendly’ training from Andy Tysoe, a nurse from Chester who has helped lead previous NHS Change Days.

Change Day this year also comes in the week when we’ve just fired the starting gun on the radical grassroots redesign of care for 5 million patients in 29 parts of the country – the first step to implementing the NHS’ own Five Year Forward View. We’ve now got a widely supported plan for a better NHS, and we’re are getting on with it.

So on behalf of your fellow health and care employees, thank you for taking the time today to play your part. Together we can make a multitude of individual changes to care that add up to truly enormous improvements for the patients we’re all here to serve.

By Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS in England

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