The head of NHS England will today (Thursday 15 June) pledge to end the “fractured” health and social care system that leaves too many patients “passed from pillar to post” by giving local leaders and communities more control over how they improve health and social care.
Addressing the NHS Confederation in Liverpool, Simon Stevens said: “As the NHS approaches its 70th Birthday, we are now embarked on the biggest national move to integrating care of any major western country. For patients this means better joined up services in place of what has often been a fragmented system that passes people from pillar to post.”
He announced nine areas in England – covering some seven million people – which will be the forefront of nationwide action to provide joined up, better coordinated care breaking down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental healthcare, social care and the NHS.
Eight ‘accountable care systems’ (ACSs) will bring together local NHS organisations, often in partnership with social care services and the voluntary sector. They build on the learning from and early results of NHS England’s new care model ‘vanguards’, which are slowing emergency hospitalisations growth by up to two thirds compared with other less integrated parts of the country.
The first group of designated ACSs have agreed with national leaders to deliver fast track improvements set out in Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View, including taking the strain off A&E, investing in general practice making it easier to get a GP appointment, and improving access to high quality cancer and mental health services.