Responding to the Prime Minister's speech on the NHS, The King's Fund's Chief Executive, Chris Ham, said:
'The key challenge the health reforms must address is the ageing population and increasing numbers of people with long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma and dementia. This means designing a new model of care, less orientated to treating people when they become ill and more focused on prevention, accompanied by a shift of resources away from hospitals towards providing care in and closer to people's homes.
'The key to delivering this new model of care is integration is much stronger collaboration between health professionals and more effective co-ordination of services. This means making significant changes to the Health and Social Care Bill, in particular to strike a better balance between competition and collaboration, but also, importantly, to other policies to ensure that integration is hard-wired throughout the NHS.
'The Prime Minister's speech indicated that this argument seems to be getting through. If the pause in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill leads to a re-think along these lines, then it will have been time well spent.'
Notes to editors:
The King's Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.