Why we need to change

Constraints on NHS funding over the past seven years, combined with rising demand from a growing and ageing population, have put the NHS under enormous pressure. It has been clear for some time that simply working our current hospital-based model of care harder to meet rising demand is not the answer. Rather, the NHS needs to work differently by providing more care in people’s homes and the community and breaking down barriers between services.

Breaking down barriers means co-ordinating the work of general practices, community services and hospitals to meet the needs of people requiring care. This is particularly important for the growing numbers of people with several medical conditions who receive care and support from a variety of health and social care staff.

The NHS also needs to give greater priority to the prevention of ill health by working with local authorities and other agencies to tackle the wider determinants of health and wellbeing. This means tackling risk factors such as obesity and redoubling efforts to reduce health inequalities. And it means fully engaging the public in changing lifestyles and behaviours that contribute to ill health and acting on the recommendations of the Marmot report (opens in a new window) and other reviews to improve population health.

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