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A Blithering future

Friday, 18 January 2019

A Blithering future

The NHS Long Term Plan has set the agenda and now it’s time for NHS organisations up and down the country to demonstrate that they have read as far as the executive summary. Here are the top three priorities for the country’s most hopeless health economy as it strives to stay out of special measures and off the radar.

1. Fully align with the NHS Long Term Plan

We were among the first NHS areas to aim to start planning for the long-term plan. It’s nearly a year since our visionary leader Sir Trevor Longstay ordered every copy of the Blithering Forward View to be pulped and invited Martin Plackard to start work on the Longstay Plan, which is widely regarded as the first draft of the NHS Long Term Plan.

That means Blithering already has a six to 12 month head start over other health economies in the critical first stage of long-term planning: partial alignment. It also means we will be the first area to roll out fully aligned operational plans that meet NHS Improvement’s 47 Tests for Alignment.   

2. Lead the way on integration

Countless studies have shown that integration is the number one determinant of health ahead of genetics, healthy behaviour, environment and availability of care services. But sadly not everyone has the same access to integration. Those living in deprived areas typically die 20 years younger than those in areas of high integration.

That’s why we believe that seamlessness should be available not only to a minority of the population but to everyone.

3. Be more place-based than ever

It’s not enough that services are safe and effective. Above all people want to know if they are nice.

Blithering has led the way in the development of meaningful ways to measure patient experience, such as our “Did You Feel Valued?” and “Was it Comfy?” campaigns, which have had positive feedback from patients facing five or six hour waits in our ground-breaking “pop-up” urgent care centres.

What the data tells us is that what matters most to patients after knowing the first names of staff is that their care is place-based. Our pioneering “There’s No Place Like Place” initiative aims to break down the barriers to place for people and communities and ensure that everyone has a strong sense of where they are for most of the time.

Next steps...

Next week we’ll take an in-depth look at some of our other priorities, including our ambitious “digital first” Dial-a-Doc advice line which features reassuring messages specially recorded by leading local GP Dr David Rummage, our innovative plan for an Uber-style ambulance service staffed entirely by volunteers, and something about social care.

Editor: Julian Patterson