The New NHS Alliance (NNHSA) view is that the recent report from the National Audit Office on health and social care integration has bought into sharp focus how important it is for organisations across the health and social care sectors to be working more closely and cohesively together for the benefit of local communities and patients. The NNHSA further contend that funding should flow in a different way – one which focuses on the benefits to patients and throughput rather than purely on cost savings to the NHS.
Chief Executive, Merron Simpson, says:
“We believe that the various approaches taken to date in integrating health and social care have been too ‘top down’ – and this has been compounded by a perception that these approaches require big systems change. What has been missing is a willingness to empower both frontline staff and communities to work differently and find solutions to their health issues. We need to understand that change will come through a series of small changes. In terms of measurement of progress, we believe there needs to be a shift in mindset, with much greater use of measures that show health outcomes for.”
Chair Heather Henry, who works as a nurse in equal partnership with communities in Salford, comments:
“While it is clear that extra funding is urgently needed for social care, the NNHSA view is that positive outcomes can be achieved by better and closer working between NHS organisations, local authorities, housing, the community and voluntary sector, and communities themselves. The NHS needs to recognise and address the damaged health and social care relationship dynamic within our communities. This is especially needed in those areas where relationships with health professionals are shattered. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as lack of funding for promised projects or policy changes, but whatever the cause, the reality is that the local community is left high and dry. And bitter. And wary.”
“Historically there has been a culture in the health and social care sector of ‘doing things to people’ rather than ‘with them’ – and this has been very apparent in the most disadvantaged areas. Trust has broken down in these communities – resulting in health and social care initiatives failing, and the most hard pressed residents being driven deeper in to despair. It’s time to change our approach, break down the credibility barriers, improve patient experience and rebuild community trust.”
Notes to editors:
- For enquiries, please contact: Judy Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07717 691845
- New NHS Alliance mission is …‘to infect the UK health system with wellness’. You can find more information here
- New NHS Alliance has a goal to make Health Creation and health creating practices a core part of the UK healthcare system alongside a greater focus on prevention. We believe that this is the best way to reduce health inequalities and deliver a sustainable health service. Click here for a short briefing paper on Health Creation.
- You can find coverage of our Health Creation Action Summit here
- We intend to publish a ‘Manifesto for the adoption of health creating practices’ in the spring of 2017
- Read our ‘Trojan Mouse’ success stories: https://www.nhsalliance.org/health-creation/
- Our work on The Lancet Manifesto for a healthy and health-creating society – To read this document please follow the link.