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Time to take ownership of our “new” Local Health Economy

With Lord Carter’s report now recently published, Local Health Economies are being discussed more and more these days as a result of the forthcoming challenges facing the NHS today.  

 

The Five Year Forward View was aimed to assist the most challenged local health economies (LHEs).  These were the areas whose healthcare organisations were in most need of intensive support in order to develop the most robust strategic plans that were both clinically and financially sustainable over the next five years.  This would allow sustainable local health communities to focus on the areas specifically of need to their patients in their local areas. Demographics and various data gathered indicates to us what support will be needed now and in the future for those (LHE’s) on a scale. This then allows us to plan ahead and support our communities with the specific support they may need in the current time and years to come.

Included in the report was the point that NHS England and NHS Improvement should work with Trust Boards to identify where there are quality and efficiency opportunities for better collaboration and coordination on their clinical services across the local health economies.

A “Carter Timetable” has been produced for these improvements as far ahead as 2020 outlining what these targets are for greater Quality and Efficiency moving forward.  It was particularly interesting to read that NHS Improvement are to develop a National People Strategy and implementation plan as part of this process. I wonder exactly what this will look like in the longer term?

It seems apparent that the landscape is changing quickly. Will this mean more “Outsourced or Managed Services”, or central departments responsible for supporting shared services across a number of locations? Or will local economies have a different way of working in their own locations? 

What this will mean however, is a clear need for more highly quality committed focused individuals to assist with Transformation, Change and a journey into the world of “Systems Leadership” which is becoming more apparent on a daily basis. These leaders will undoubtedly play a bigger part in the future of the NHS and the evolvement of  “The Model Hospital”.  If we could turn the clock forward five years, I wonder how many of these efficiencies we will achieve and will our patients (both old and young) benefit for this more integrated way of working? Will our patient services be more efficient and of a higher quality? Will the NHS deficits be finally under control?

I am interested to hear views and thoughts on whether you feel these efficiencies will build a stronger, more efficient and better NHS.

 

Denise Raw is the Principal for Healthcare at Interim Partners.

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