It may only be five weeks since the general election, but there has already been a veritable blizzard of announcements coming from the Department of Health and national NHS organisations. So many in fact, that it is no mean feat to step back to make sense of it all.
Both The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation have called for a properly resourced 'transformation fund' to support the kind of large-scale change outlined in the NHS five year forward view. But how big would such a fund need to be and how would it be resourced?
Co-commissioning has arrived. Today 64 CCGs take on fully delegated responsibility for commissioning general practice, while 87 CCGs take on joint commissioning responsibilities working with NHS England.
Last week’s announcement of plans to devolve responsibility for health and social care to statutory organisations in Greater Manchester is a bold initiative that could bring substantial benefits if implemented well.
While NHS policy debates are increasingly painted only in black and white, shades of grey are often more interesting.
‘Implementing the Forward View’ is often synonymous with ‘establishing multispecialty community providers and primary and acute care systems’. But this risks leaving behind the more radical chapter of the Forward View – chapter two, on engaging patients and communities.
Empirically it is hard to say, anecdotally the costs of the NHS reforms – such as lost and delayed focus on the main business of delivering health care – have not been insignificant.
As we head towards the general election, the government’s record on the NHS will come under intense scrutiny. Our review of NHS reform argues that this has been a parliament of two halves.
As debate on the future of the NHS rises up the agenda ahead of the general election in May, the government can take comfort from our report on the British Social Attitudes Survey 2014, which shows public satisfaction with the NHS at its second highest level since the survey began.
The NHS faces three major challenges in 2015: preparing for the spending review, achieving much closer integration of health and social care, and ensuring that the NHS has the leadership in place to deliver the highest possible standards of care within available resources.
Over the coming months The King’s Fund and The Health Foundation will be exploring the concept of a transformation fund. How big does such a fund need to be? And how should it be spent so that it supports real change at scale across the NHS?
Encouraging leaders to take on new responsibilities will be challenging at a time when financial pain is driving many organisations to focus inwards rather than outwards, says Chris Naylor.
While many policy-makers focus on organisational structures, it is clear that successful implementation of the NHS five year forward view will hinge on getting the staffing right.
Something very important happened on Thursday and it wasn't the publication of the NHS five year forward view. Far more important was the passion and confidence with which Simon Stevens launched the plan and challenged politicians to provide the funding needed to deliver it.
2014/15 looks like being a watershed year in which the NHS moves decisively into deficit, so where do the opportunities lie in delivering better value?
In terms of collectively redesigning services to improve patient care, is the most caring form of leadership to allow staff the space to explore and err, as long as certain safeguards are in place?
The deafening silence on future funding amounts to a failure of the political process at a time when the NHS is heading rapidly towards a deep and damaging crisis.
Parallels between the successful transformation of the Veterans Health Administration in the United States and the changes needed in the NHS in England have been made for a number of years. But recent troubles at the VA offer some important lessons for the NHS in the future.
The growing problems in the NHS and social care cannot be solved by the Better Care Fund or any of the other short-term solutions on offer. Nothing less than a fundamental reform of the funding of health and social care services and citizens’ entitlements to publicly funded support is required to address these problems.
If in 2013/14 the NHS struggled to maintain performance even with a recruitment round, the chances it can continue to do so with fewer, rather than more, staff look non-existent, says Richard Murray.