Around £30bn could be saved if people took care of their own health and engaged in prevention activities, Yvonne Doyle, London regional director at Public Health England (PHE), told delegates at a Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar focusing on the next steps for delivering new models of NHS care and vanguard sites.
The seminar, held on 25 October 2017, comprised a range of speakers from organisations including The Health Foundation, NHS England, the Department of Health and National Voices, a coalition of charities that campaigns for people to take control of their own health and care.
In his talk, Don Redding, director of policy at National Voices, spoke of how we are currently living in an “era of multimorbidity” and that single disease care is “a thing of the past”.
Consequently, he said that person-centred care should become “mainstream”, helping to keep patients independent and out of secondary care.
There was a general consensus at the seminar that a number of improvements are needed to ensure the future of new models of care in the NHS, such as sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), vanguards, and the primary care home model, including better population health management, better screening, and workforce development.
Lord Warner, a former health minister, who chaired part of the seminar, said that in order to make progress the NHS needed to work with, rather than against, local government and that currently, involvement of local government was “inadequate”.
He also said that “lack of a sustainable funding stream”, “absence of any sort of workforce plan to deliver the right mix of skills” and “a failure to get a grip on demand” were three key challenges standing in the way of new care models currently.
Claire Murdoch, chief executive of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and national mental health director for NHS England, said the success of new models of care was reliant on knowing the population; having the right information; having trust, values and a common cause; driving value and savings; working with users; and thinking creatively.
Primarily however, Murdoch said that mental health must be at the core of “everyone’s business”, otherwise “new care models will never be as successful as they could and should be”.
According to Louise Watson, director of the new care models programme at NHS England, 75% of developing a successful new care model is adopting existing practice and learning from others — talking to people about “how they did it”. Only the remaining 25% is about innovation and attempting to try something new.
But, when it comes to assessing success, Adam Steventon, director of data analytics at The Health Foundation, said that often new NHS care models were evaluated after only six months which he described as “too soon”.
He added that it can take a decade or more to collate enough useful data from a new initiative and that there needed to be a change to how the NHS thinks about, and approaches, evaluation. Often analysts in the NHS were very isolated, he said, and this needed to be addressed.