Independence Day: Reinventing health and social care – Hearing One

Transforming health and social care by Kieren Brett

There is now a broad consensus that the NHS needs to transform the way it delivers care to meet the challenge of an ageing and rising population. A greater emphasis on prevention, service quality and patient satisfaction is the prescription that most agree is needed to make the NHS sustainable. The challenge now is to move from ideas to delivery. Independence Day provides the forum for a constructive debate about how we can deliver a transformed health and social care system.

A capped budget for the NHS and pressures on social care budgets combined with a growing ageing population means that the NHS and social care systems need to either lower the average cost per patient or ration services.  We need to find the “sweet spot” which improves health outcomes, quality and patient satisfaction at a lower cost.  Independence Day is about how the NHS and care systems can find the “sweet spot” and work to lower the cost and in parallel improve the patient experience.

Transforming the health and care systems will not be easy because of public, professional and political anxieties. Independence Day seeks to understand these anxieties and produce solutions about how they could be overcome. The public connection with “my hospital” is quite rightly very powerful and our challenge is to try and change the public’s mind-set by improving the outcomes and quality of clinical care, patient safety and experience.

The scale of the challenge is enormous and upon us now, so we need to move as quickly as possible to deliver integrated high quality health and social care.  I hope that our Independence Day series will help to create the roadmap to get there.  Please join in our quest for big ideas and submit your views or attend our hearings.

Kieren Brett, Director, Improving Care