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Integration plans will fail without more ‘management heft’, says trust trade body leader

Integration plans will fail without more ‘management heft’, says trust trade body leader

The NHS lacks the ‘management heft’ to make the fundamental changes needed for a fully integrated health service, the head of an NHS trade body has said
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The NHS lacks the ‘management heft’ to make the fundamental changes needed for a fully integrated health service, the head of an NHS trade body has said.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said that the only part of the NHS capable of the whole population health management that’s needed to create a fully integrated system is the acute sector.

But he said the level of integration needs to go beyond structural reorganisation into a ‘fundamental cultural change’ in the system, using data analytics.

Speaking to delegates at a King’s Fund conference on implementing sustainability and transformation plans, he said ‘it’s pretty clear’ that CCGs and GPs lack the ‘sheer management heft to actually make that stuff happen’.

But, he said, while hospital trusts are best equipped to look at whole population healthcare, ‘that's just not how hospitals work’.

He said: ‘Hospitals basically work around referrals from GPs they don't think about whole population management.’

However, Mr Hopson added that even areas that are being considered as advanced areas of integrated care, such as Salford and Northumbria, are failing to manage the health of a whole population.

He said: ‘I've seen them coming together in an organisational form and creating a single organisation, but I don't see the fundamental cultural change about actually doing something very very different in terms of that risk segmentation and risk stratification’.

He added that through out the NHS, there is a ‘big effort’ to integrate under one roof but less emphasis on making ‘actual changes to healthcare services’.

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