It is well known that there is growing pressure on the health and social care system. There is a rising and ageing population that, if our care system does not change, will require an additional 13,500 hospital beds to soak up demand.
There is already a tendency for patients to end up in hospital when they could be cared for elsewhere. The ambition to move care closer to home is not new – it has been our ultimate goal for many years – but major change is needed to achieve it.
A great deal rests on community services: they could transform chronic disease management, support reductions in the number of people admitted to hospital and how long they stay there, and help primary care deal meet a growing demand.