The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) sets overall strategy, funds and oversees the health and care system, and is accountable to Parliament and the electorate for outcomes. Given the nature of the relationship between NHS England and the DHSC, it is reasonable to use NHS performance as the principal measure of government success in enacting many health-related policies. This policy is about effectively providing information to empower patients in their interactions with the health and care system.
The most important development in the NHS under this government has been the introduction of the NHS Long Term Plan which sets out a ten-year strategy for improving the health service.
The first chapter of the plan, “A new service model for the 21st century“, contains many initiatives which, if implemented, would go a long way towards fulfilling this policy pledge:
- Primary care networks of local GP practices and community teams
- NHS support to people living in care homes
- Supporting people to age well
- People will get more control over their own health and more personalised care
- Digitally-enabled primary and outpatient care will go mainstream
- Local NHS organisations will increasingly focus on population health – moving to Integrated Care Systems everywhere
The Long Term Plan was published in January 2019, and it is too soon to reach conclusions about the effectiveness of many of its proposals, but it certainly represents an intention to act.
We’ll be tracking the success of dissemination of information to patients via the mechanisms outlined in the plan, and we’ll use independent analysis to help us measure any improvements over time, so follow this policy to stay informed. For now, we think this is policy is ‘in progress’.
Ensure you have the information you need!
- A Short Guide to the Department of Health and NHS England – National Audit Office
- NHS Long Term Plan – NHS
- Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2018 – Nuffield Trust