Having over 10 year’s experience of working within the National Health Service (NHS) we have witnessed and will be witness to considerable changes. In this period we have seen it change in its commissioning responsibilities from ‘Health Authority’ to Primary Care Trust, to ‘clusters’ and now to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Foundation Trusts…
The NHS still with its structure of Commissioners (e.g. CCGs) and Providers (e.g. Acute and Foundation Trusts) still have to follow values and principles whether by best practice, choice, contracts or legislation. These values and principles are generally:
- Best possible Health and highest quality of Healthcare
- Sound custodians of the Healthcare budget
- Evidenced based care, meeting the individual need
- Patients at the heart of all decisions
- Empowered Clinical leaders who will create an improvement culture
- Effective Governance
- Delivery through Partnership
Challenges in the New NHS
As the new structures have emerged and have begun to operate there have been some (new and old) challenges that have had to be considered and have inevitably caused “teething problems”.
The National Challenges
We have population Challenges, from having an increasing elderly population to meeting the health care demands of diverse and increasing population with associated costs for issues such Long Term Care, Mental Health and Prescribing costs as examples.
The Organisational Challenges
Re-structuring of the 4th largest employer in the World (after Walmart, Chinese Army and Indian Railways) will always be needed and difficult. For organisations this could mean concerns over Record management, Governance to IT/Software issues.
The Economic Challenges
The NHS has a Duty to ‘break-even’. Currently there is the challenge of managing Health Care systems through unprecedented changes and as dynamics have changed. There are also the economic challenges of the QIPP agenda, ensuring each pound spent brings maximum quality and care to patients. Ensuring the Strategic and Commissioning plans have the adequate resources to bring about positive outcomes.
Engagement & Equality Solutions likes challenges. We see that sometimes it takes a change in perspective to actually make challenges into opportunities. We believe that we can help in realising these opportunities. These opportunities can be the:
- Opportunity to Influence the system, create localised Care Pathways
- Opportunity to ‘Share the burden’ of General Practice, through developing shared aims, visions and resources
- Opportunity to align Governance structures, Equality Objectives, QIPP, CQUINs to Strategic plans, Constitution, Outcomes Framework and local needs.
- Opportunity to have Integrated Care to encourage partnership working
- Opportunity to increase the quality of care for patients with Long Term Conditions and the elderly
- Opportunity to reduce non-elective admissions
The above is not a restrictive list; there are many ways to turn challenges into opportunities with proper engagement and minding the needs of a diverse and changing population. Contact us to find out how we can help.