Sustainability and transformation in the NHS: Department of Health and Social Care

National Audit Office, January 2018

Report from the National Audit Office that finds that the NHS has received extra funding, but this has mostly been used to cope with current pressures and has not provided the stable platform intended from which to transform services. Despite its overall financial position improving, the NHS is struggling to manage increased activity and demand within its budget and has not met NHS access targets. Furthermore, measures it took to rebalance its finances have restricted money available for longer-term transformation, which is essential for the NHS to meet demand, drive efficiencies and improve the service. Repeated short-term funding-boosts could turn into the new normal, when the public purse may be better served by a long-term funding settlement that provides a stable platform for sustained improvements.

Click here to view the full report.

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Accountable Care Organisations – Briefing Paper

House of Commons Library, January 2018

An Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) is a model of healthcare organisation where a provider, or group of providers, takes responsibility for the healthcare provision of an entire population. There is no fixed definition of an ACO, but the organisation usually receives an annual, capitated budget to deliver contractually agreed health outcomes. The proposed introduction of ACOs in the NHS in England has generated some commentary as to a potential increase in private sector involvement, in part due to the model’s origin in the American healthcare system. This briefing paper explores this, as well as the future roles of CCGs and GPs in an ACO system.

Click here to view the briefing paper.

While your back was turned: How mental health policymakers stopped paying attention to the specific needs of women and girls

The Mental Health Foundation, January 2018

This report from the Mental Health Foundation identifies that the mental health of young women and girls is deteriorating, and the gap between men and women has widened over recent years. In last 15 years have seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls. We now see their needs reaching crisis level. This report will:

  • identify pressure points and social determinants of mental health and wellbeing in young women and girls, to support the development of tailored mental health guidance aimed at preventing mental health problems for those at highest risk
  • improve the understanding of how to prevent mental health problems in young women by decision makers.

Click here to view the full report.

A framework for mental health research

Department of Health, December 2017

This framework provides a collective view of how mental health research should develop in the UK over the next decade. It sets out a structure to improve co-ordination and strengthen the focus on areas where mental health research is likely to translate into significant health benefit.

Click here to view the guidance.

The 2,000 days project: Practical ideas for reforming health and care

Healthcare at Home, November 2017

An Industry Coalition Group of clinicians, senior leaders in hospitals, primary care, the central bodies, charities and the private sector met earlier this year to take on the challenge of re-energising the NHS approach to handling rising demand, hospital debt, slow technological innovation and growing public expectations.  This report from Healthcare at Home identifies many examples of new care provision,  but also that current reform struggles to deliver the change needed, and integrated care is not happening on the scale required.  This report identifies seven key principles for reform:

  • Person-centred care must be at the heart of every NHS decision and action.
  • Person-centred care means taking every opportunity to maximise our ability to manage our own health. The NHS needs to focus on what we can do, not just try to fix what we can’t.
  • NHS leaders need to see joy and fulfilment in the workplace as key to delivering person-centred care and nurturing innovation.
  • Care services must stop being health and safety police, and take a more balanced approach to risk, to empower staff and let people live the lives they want.
  • Clinicians and managers need to be taught how to think digitally so they develop their own solutions using consumer technology. Online and face-to-face services should be integrated.
  • Where possible there should be direct access, including digital access, to community services.
  • The costs, benefits and practicalities of developing care at home need to be understood and debated.

Click here to view the full report.

Health at a glance 2017

OECD, November 2017

This report looks at data and trends on different aspects of health systems in OECD countries. The analysis of the UK health system finds that the overall health of Britons is similar to the OECD average but that obesity rates are considerably worse than the OECD average.

Click here to view the UK analysis.

Click here to access the full report.