With one year until the 2015 General Election, the NHS Confederation is challenging political parties to explicitly accept seven “burning issues” facing the health and care system, and to produce election manifestos that allow the NHS and social care the space to be able to address them.
The seven issues are outlined in the 2015 Challenge Declaration, which calls on current and future politicians and decision-makers to be honest with the public, staff and media about the challenges facing the health and care system, and what needs to be done to solve these challenges, so the system remains fit for purpose.
The cultural shift needed to increase and enable shared decision making, and planning for a workforce better able to work in partnership with individuals and communities, are featured within the list of issues to be addressed. Also identified are the need to support people with long term conditions, redesigning the health and care system to revolve around the needs of patients and families, and using technology to support people to access information and treatment.
The full list of issues included within the declaration are:
- The need challenge – meeting the rising demand for care, particularly from people with complex needs or long-term conditions, while maintaining people’s wellbeing and preventing ill health for as long as possible.
- The culture challenge – building confidence in the health service by achieving a fundamental shift in culture from the bottom up. Creating a more open and transparent NHS, which enables patients, citizens and communities to be partners in decisions, and staff to improve care.
- The design challenge – redesigning the health and care system to reflect the needs of people now – and so that it remains sustainable in the future. Shifting more care closer to people’s homes, while maintaining great hospital care. A focus on joining up all parts of the health and care system so care revolves around the needs and capacities of individuals, families and communities.
- The finance challenge – recognising the financial pressures on all parts of the system and squeezing value from every penny of public money spent on health and care. Debating honestly and openly the future levels and sources of funding for health and social care.
- The leadership challenge – creating value-based, system leaders across the NHS and empowering them to improve health and wellbeing for local people. Supporting these local leaders to work in partnership with a wide range of health, care and related organisations to address the 2015 Challenge, involve patients and citizens as leaders, and have the resilience to make the biggest changes in the recent history or health and care.
- The workforce challenge – planning for a workforce to better match changing demand. Developing staff roles and skills to provide complex, multidisciplinary, coordinated care, in partnership with individuals and communities and more often in community settings.
- The technology challenge – using technology to help transform care and enabling people to access information and treatment in a way that meets their needs. Spreading innovation to improve the quality of care while responding to the financial challenge facing the NHS and care system.