Handling the pressure
Source: NHE Jan/Feb 17
Although NHS trusts have been feeling the pressure this winter, as demand on A&E services continues to rise and the financial challenge deepens, it is worth noting and applauding the professionalism, determination and resilience of the workforce in still delivering world-class healthcare.
However, as you’ll read throughout this issue of NHE, it is highly unlikely that our courageous staff can keep this ‘can-do’ attitude going indefinitely against a constant tide of pressure.
Through its QualityWatch programme, the Nuffield Trust highlights on page 17 that while some areas of care are being sustained or even improved despite the ongoing burden felt by staff, the NHS in England faces a serious challenge in maintaining standards of care.
Unsurprisingly, this edition also looks at whether sustainability and transformation plans can truly deliver the radical change needed to relieve the strain on the health and care sector. Contributors, including NHS Providers, HFMA, National Voices and more, consider the financial implications, the need for greater patient engagement and the governance issues surrounding the initiatives.
Staying on the engagement theme, there is also a very interesting article by
Dr Patricia Wilkie, president and chairman of the National Association for Patient Participation, who discusses the contractual obligation for all GP practices in England to have a patient participation group .
Another area that we focus on is the changing landscape of NHS procurement, and the move towards greater collaboration. We have examples of innovative cross-regional partnerships driving down the cost of agency spend while others explain how rationalising products and services have also driven efficiencies.
As you will have seen on the front cover, we also make reference to the recent ‘Swimming Together or Sinking Alone’ report, published by the Institute of Healthcare Management. The organisation’s CEO, Jill DeBene, explains why trust is vital to successfully building place-based care, centred on the patient.
Finally, I would like to say a massive congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Our Health Heroes awards, which celebrate the thousands of support staff who help keep the NHS running. NHE was the official media partner for the recent awards, and if you want to find out who won at the prestigious event please turn to page 22.
Once again, I’d like to applaud all members of the health service who, despite these very difficult times, continue to deliver an unbelievable service to patients across the country every single day.