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Desperate need for radical reshape of planning and organising care

A radical reshape of the way the NHS plans and organises care is desperately needed if the NHS is to meet the needs of patients and remain financially sustainable, said NHS Confederation chief executive  Mike Farrar (13 September).

Significant implications

Commenting on the Royal College of Physicians' (RCP) report Hospitals on the edge? The time for action, published yesterday, Mr Farrar acknowledged that: “The RCP is raising some critically important issues.

“The NHS desperately needs to radically reshape the way it plans and organises care, to meet the needs of patients as well as keep the service financially sustainable. This will have significant implications both for where we provide care and who provides it."

Speaking up

Mr Farrar highlighted:"Senior clinicians have sometimes been reluctant to step forward and yet they carry so much weight with the public. But I think the tide is turning. There is an emerging coalition of managers and clinical leaders who understand the need to speak up because if we don't the NHS will be unsustainable.

He also reiterated the point that: “Changes of this nature cannot happen without public understanding and involvement in decisions. They cannot happen without political support."

Political backing

Mr Farrar added: “The NHS needs to make the case for change but fundamentally it needs political backing to make this happen.

"It is really significant that the RCP is helping persuade the public of the importance of these issues."

Organising care differently

As part of its work to address how the NHS can plan, organise and deliver care differently in the future, the NHS Confederation's forthcoming publication Making integrated out-of-hospital care a reality, will provide a set of clear principles for ensuring effective integrated care outside of the hospital setting.

Developed in partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), the principles, agreed at a roundtable event involving a range of stakeholders from across health and care, are underpinned by drivers and case studies outlined throughout the briefing. Look out for the briefing due to be published next month.

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