Future trends overview

This content relates to the following topics:

Part of Time to Think Differently

Our Time to Think Differently programme aims to generate new thinking about the changes needed for health and social care to meet the challenges of the future.

To ensure this work is rooted in a clear understanding of the issues that will drive change, we have undertaken a review of some of the most significant trends and drivers that we believe will affect health and social care services over the next 20 years.

In our overview, we provide a summary of these drivers and their key implications. We do not explore in depth the consequences for the way in which care may be delivered, rather we hope these ideas provide a stimulus and evidence base for future debate and thinking. We hope the analysis will provide a valuable resource to support policy-makers and health and social care leaders in engaging in long-term, strategic thinking about how services need to change.


Our extensive review of future trends for our Time to Think Differently programme is the work of:



Honorary consultant,
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Comment date
23 November 2012
I think this is an excellent overview where it nto fur a fundamental flaw. Mental health is mentioned but once on page 5. We know that depression will be the major cause of disability globally by 2020 and that all thte isseus you raise of climate change, the economic climate and an ageing population will have at least as great an impact on mental health. I think this failure reflects a more general lack of research in mental health but hope that your organisation will challenge the lack of parity of esteem between physical and mental health whereas as present, inadvertently no doubt, you appear to be part of that problem.

Candace Imison

Deputy Director of Policy,
The King's Fund
Comment date
03 December 2012
A very well made and important point. Mental health is indeed a critical issue for the future. We published research earlier in the year indicating that the impact of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems on physical health costs the NHS upwards of £8 billion each year. That is not to mention the significant human toll.

You may be interested to see the mental health page of our trends work (under ‘disease and disability) where we argue that the system is not currently able to meet existing levels of demand for mental health care. Our wider on mental health is available at http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/mental-health.

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