Time to Think Differently is a new programme of work aimed at stimulating debate about the changes needed for the NHS and social care to meet the challenges of the future. We hope to generate new thinking about innovative ways of delivering high-quality care, and support health and social care leaders in their decision-making.
The immediate pressures faced by staff working in health and social care are intense. The disruption of organisational change and restructuring means many are working in new roles, in new organisations, with new responsibilities that are still far from clear. Providers are feeling the pressure as efficiency savings in the NHS and local authority funding cuts begin to bite. It may seem odd in this context to challenge people to think about the medium to long-term. But this is vital if we are to rise to the enormous challenges we face.
In the short to medium-term, changes in the configuration of services present real opportunities to design services that will be fit for the future. In the longer term, new thinking is needed about new models of care and how they can be delivered.
This work isn’t just about gathering ideas and examples of innovation, important though this is, it is about trying to generate well informed discussion about some of the toughest, most uncomfortable and long standing questions we need to address - questions about the funding of health and social care, how professional roles need to change, how much responsibility we should take for our own health, and how to develop models of care driven by patient need and preference, not how we have run services in the past.