Will the NHS long term plan give the community services sector the national focus it deserves?
17 April 2019
NHS Providers has published the fourth edition of its publication series Provider Voices, which promotes the views of trust leaders and other parts of the system on some of the key issues facing health and care services today.
In January this year the NHS long term plan was published. This outlined a vision to shift care away from hospitals and closer to people’s homes and communities.
Community Services: Our time explores the opportunities and risks for the sector as a result of the NHS long term plan. National NHS leaders have often promised to give greater emphasis to community services, making them more central and allocating greater investment. Will this now happen?
The report features 10 interviews and found:
- That there is optimism among leaders within the community services sector about delivering the ambitions of the NHS long term plan
- While an opportunity, there are key questions to be addressed about the relationship between community services and primary care networks.
- One of the key challenges faced by community services is securing the right workforce.
- That there are benefits and challenges with adapting to new technologies and ways of working.
- There is a need to change national perceptions and understanding of the role community services play and are accessed by patients.
The report pulls together a broad range of voices from sector representing NHS trust leaders, from the hospital, community, ambulance and mental health sectors, as well as representation from social care, primary care, integrated care systems and the Community Network.
The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:
“The NHS long term plan puts community services, along with primary care, at the heart of its ambition to ensure patients receive care closer to home, to place greater emphasis on prevention and to deliver genuinely integrated care.
“The question of whether community services will receive the national focus they deserve, posed by this report, has never been more relevant
“Primary care and community services have a vital role to play working together to help change the way people are supported, especially those who are frail and vulnerable.
“The question of whether community services will receive the national focus they deserve, posed by this report, has never been more relevant.”
The interviews for this report were carried out by Helen Crump. The interviewees are:
- Matthew Winn, chair, Community Network
- Siobhan Melia, chief executive, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
- Glen Garrod, president, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
- Angela Hillery, chief executive, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Andrew Burnell, chief executive, City Health Care Partnership CIC
- Will Hancock, chief executive, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- Rob Webster, chief executive, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System
- Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair, Royal College of General Practitioners
- Robert Harrison, Chief Operating Officer, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
- Paul Corrigan CBE, Policy commentator and former government advisor
The next report in the series on specialised services will be published in the Autumn.