Investment across the whole health and care system vital to patient outcomes

10 November 2021

Responding to Caring for older patients with complex needs, a new report co-funded by the Health Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

"We welcome this report, which provides a helpful analysis of outcomes for key groups of patients.

"As the report's authors acknowledge, it is difficult to make comparisons across different health systems. However, this research raises questions worthy of further investigation which will be relevant for national decision makers and leaders within the health system particularly as integrated care systems are established.

"It is good to see an upfront acknowledgement within the report that the NHS has improved outcomes for patients, and to see the NHS perform well against some of the indicators examined in the research.

"However, this report underlines the importance of investment across the health and care system, including in preventative measures, social care, community services and rehabilitation support.

"Based on pre-pandemic data, the report highlights the fact that long term spending on the NHS falls below the OECD average, and that as a country we rely more heavily on unpaid carers and invest considerably less in long term care.

"We have been calling for central, dedicated funding for discharge to assess to be made permanent to support patients to leave hospital as quickly and safely as possible, and be cared for in or closer to their homes.

"Trust leaders have also told us that the data gaps around handovers in the health and care system are a key issue, and it is important that patient data is better linked up across the system."

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