Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, has presented an important five-year view for the health service, presenting a new model for meeting increasing challenges on the NHS, with more integrated care, care closer to home and a greater emphasis on local initiatives. There are to be more prominent roles for prevention (preventative care), community pharmacies, self-care and public health. Dementia, ageing, long-term conditions and obesity pose major challenges. Local (varied, non-standard) solutions are to be permitted; to enable GPs, hospitals, community health services and social services to pool resources and work collaboratively to provide more joined-up care for patients.
More funding, inevitably, is required (£8 billion) for the NHS, despite the maxim to “Think like a patient [and] act like a taxpayer”. Economies along the lines of £22 billion are also on the cards.
Triggle, N. (2014). NHS needs extra cash and overhaul, say bosses. London: BBC Health News, October 23rd 2014.
Triggle, N. (2014). The NHS plan: Five things we’ve learned. London: BBC Health News, October 23rd 2014.
Further BBC News coverage:
Pym, H. (2014). NHS five-year plan document ‘packs a punch’. London: BBC Health News, October 23rd 2014.
“The Five Year Forward View sets out a vision for the future of the NHS and has been developed by the partner organisations that deliver and oversee health and care services including NHS England, Public Health England, Monitor, Health Education England, the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Trust Development Authority”. (Press Release)
This relates to:
Five year forward view. London: NHS England, October 22nd 2014.
One week later, this forward plan appears to have won broad acceptance:
Pym, H. (2014). Politicians line up to back NHS plan. London: BBC Health News, October 28th 2014.
Aligned National NHS Priorities: Mental Health
NHS England and the Department of Health published “Achieving Better Access to Mental Health Services by 2020” earlier in October, aiming to give mental health equal parity with physical health services. NHS England will invest a further £120m over the next two years on improving mental health services, with £40m investment this year to achieve new access and waiting time standards next year. There are to be improvements to early intervention and mental health crisis services, including liaison psychiatry.
Mental health services: achieving better access by 2020. London: Department of Health, October 8th 2014.
Aligned National Priorities: Public Health
Public Health England (PHE) has published seven priorities, for the next five years, on tackling preventable long-term diseases.
Evidence into action: protecting and improving the nation’s health. London: Public Health England, October 23rd 2014.
Aligned National Priorities: Health and Adult Social Care (Patient Safety and Quality Improvement)
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its annual “State of Care” report in October 2014, placing renewed emphasis on reducing unjustifiable variations in quality and safety, by driving cross-sector quality improvement:
The value of safe care. London: Department of Health, October 16th 2014.
Aligned National Priorities: Increased Integration of Health and Social Care
Enhancements to the Better Care Fund (BCF) involve an additional funding for local services to achieve an estimated 163,000 fewer stays in A&E, a 3% reduction in hospital admissions (with savings of £253m), £532m calculated savings across health and care services, 101,000 fewer unnecessary days spent in hospital, and enabling 12,000 more older people to stay at home 3 months after discharge from hospital. It is also hoped that better community-based support for frail elderly people to live independently may prevent 2,000 people from being admitted into care homes unnecessarily.
Dementia Diagnosis and Care in England
There is to be an emphasis on the care of people with dementia in their own homes, and in care homes (with better integration of care for post-diagnostic support).
Personalised Health and Care 2020
There is a commitment to exploit the information revolution.
Aligned National Priorities: Cancer Services
NHS England has formed an independent taskforce to develop the five-year action plan for cancer services. It aims to deliver improved prevention, faster diagnosis and better treatment, care and aftercare for people diagnosed with cancer.
Future of Health Conference: Empowering People to Take Control of Their Care
The health and social care system should empower patients to exercise more control over their own care and treatment. Emerging models aimed at changing how the health and care system works towards empowerment include Integrated Personal Commissioning and Person Centred Care. There is also NHS England’s “Realising the Value Programme” to increase levels of patient and community empowerment.
Future of Health conference to debate empowering people to take control of their care. London [Online]: NHS England, November 10th 2014.
On timescales and feasibility:
Patterson J. (2014). View from the cliff. London [Online]: NHSNetworks, November 21st 2014.
The “Testbeds Programme”
There is the intention to develop a small number of “test beds” to evaluate and test the potential impact of new technology for providing better care and better value for taxpayers.