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Politicians 'silence' on NHS condemned

Politicians 'silence' on NHS condemned


The political parties' 'summer of silence' on the challenges facing the health and care service has been condemned by a coalition of influential organisations. 

A group of 21 major bodies, including the Royal College of General Practitioners, NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association, has published a manifesto for the future of health and social care. 

The 2015 Challenge Manifesto sets out an achievable vision of a sustainable health and care service with 15 'asks' to deliver health and care services for the future. 

The 'asks' are: 

 1. a government-wide approach to keeping people well

 2. no top-down reorganisations

 3. new models of care that are supported politically at a national and local level

 4. politicians playing a leadership role in ensuring debates about change focus constructively on the implications for people’s health and wellbeing

 5. flexibility for providers on new organisational models with a clarified policy on provider futures and the FT pipeline

 6. a national sector led programme to support self care at scale

 7. workforce reforms that value staff and secure the workforce of the future

 8. government must build consensus around the expectations on the health and care workforce to provide seven-day services and providing support to meet these expectations

 9. genuine parity of esteem for mental health

 10. local leaders driving change within a national framework, including simplified performance regimes

 11. enabling locally led deployment of new technologies, coordinated information systems and cutting edge research at pace and scale. 

 12. longer term settlements for health and care that support service change, with adequate funding to meet demand across health and care

 13. payment system reform - to incentivise new models of care

 14. a non-recurrent £2bn fund to support change for at least two years over and above this

 15. political accountability for decisions on funding – recognising that health and care cannot absorb current pressures and deliver everything we currently do without more funding.

Rob Webster (pictured), chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Back in May, the 2015 Challenge Declaration set out the seven major challenges facing health and care.  Overcoming these is going to take political courage and a real debate on how to provide the funding and support radical changes in care. Instead we have had a summer of silence, punctuated by announcements on parking, contracting and hospital food. These are important issues but none of them tackle the fundamental challenges. 

"Today, we have set out a clear vision of a future health service which is better for patients and is sustainable. We look to politicians of all parties for honesty, courage and substance between now and the General Election.”

Tom Sandford, director of RCN England said: "Health care staff need to deliver personalised care to patients in increasingly varied settings and must have development programmes which support them to do this. This will provide long-term savings and improve patient care.

“This manifesto shows that these challenges can be overcome, but it will take political will and brave decisions. The politicians’ silence on the future of the health service must end now.”

More information on the manifesto is available on the NHS Confederation website

The 21 organisations signed up to the 2015 Challenge are: NHS Confederation, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, Foundation Trust Network, Local Government Association, National Voices, Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Physicians, College of Emergency Medicine, Chartered Society for Physiotherapists, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Scope, Asthma UK, British Heart Foundation, Association of Directors of Public Health, Age UK, Royal Society for Public Health, Institute for Healthcare Management, Macmillan, Royal College of Nursing and Association of Directors of Adult Social Care. 


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