We need leadership to support work of community services

24 May 2018

 

Lord Carter has published the findings of the review into the productivity of NHS community and mental health services.

The review argues that there is still unwarranted variation across these two sectors which if eliminated could save the NHS nearly £1 billion in efficiencies by 2020/21.

It recommends productivity improvements including the use of technology, management of contracts, and better staff rotas. The report argues that relatively few trusts providing these services have made the necessary changes to working practice to maximise the potential of mobile working.

 

Responding to the findings, the head of policy at NHS Providers, Amber Jabbal, said:

“These findings address many of the concerns we raised this week in our report on NHS community services.

“Highlighting unwarranted variation in key areas for the first time presents a new opportunity for trusts to improve their productivity and providers look forward to working with NHS Improvement to implement the recommendations

“The inclusion of mental health services in GIRFT is a welcome – if overdue – recognition that this is as important as acute physical health services, and we strongly support the recommendation to extend this to community health services.

“This report is right to draw attention to the complex commissioning and contracting environment, discrepancies in the way performance is measured, and the importance of harnessing IT to provide better care.

We need stronger leadership at national level and within STPs and ICSs, to support the work of community services in bridging barriers and delivering new models of care.

Amber Jabbal    

“It is also clear – as this report points out - that we need stronger leadership at national level and within STPs and ICSs, to support the work of community services in bridging barriers and delivering new models of care.

“Above all, these services need adequate funding, and action to address staff shortages.

“We need to seize the opportunities presented by the push for integrated care and the Prime Minister’s commitment to increase long term health and care funding to make good on past promises, and bring NHS community services centre stage.”

 

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