Patient safety

04.08.20

Calls for further investment into community healthcare services

As community healthcare services continue to show their key role supporting hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing patients to receive care closer to or even within their own homes, the Community Network have issued a call for greater investment and support into these services from the Government.

Without this increase in funding, the calls warn that the services’ contributions are at risk as the NHS braces for a challenging winter managing both annual pressures and the possibility of a second wave of the virus.

The Community Network is hosted by the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers and represents community healthcare services across England.

In a newly-published report, the network outlines a number of long-standing challenges including significant workforce vacancies and demand potentially outstripping capacity which face community healthcare services without further government investment.

As such, the Community Network has called for investment in home-based community pathways, as well as community rehabilitation beds to bolster capacity, with the next phase of the pandemic expected to see significant demand from Covid-19 patients needing long-term rehabilitative care.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last month a £3bn funding package for the NHS to help support the health service during an anticipated difficult winter period, with £500m of this funding being portioned off to support the discharge of patients from hospital and into the community.

However, while welcomed, the Community Network details in its report the belief that longer-term support and investment is also necessary to allow community healthcare services to continue to effectively respond and manage one of the toughest health challenges of recent times.

It will also help the services advance the national ambition to provide a greater range of services closer to people’s homes.

Andrew Ridley, Chair of the Community Network, which is run the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers, as well as Chief Executive of Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Over the past few months, community healthcare services have shown their value, flexibility and resilience by playing a critical role in preventing the NHS from becoming overwhelmed in the face of the greatest crisis of modern times.

“This has been particularly remarkable given that community health services entered the pandemic under considerable pressure due to rising demand, workforce shortages and increasingly complex patient needs.

“The cash injection announced recently by the Government to support community healthcare services over winter was welcome but it is a sticking plaster for the longer-term support and investment that this sector desperately needs. 

“Without additional funding, including for social care and public health, and the workforce to deliver its services, there is the real risk that discharge arrangements will be compromised and hospitals could become overwhelmed. We need realism about what these services will be able to deliver safely in the next stage of the pandemic.

“More broadly, the experiences of the pandemic must be used as a catalyst for change to reset how services are delivered and to reinvigorate the national ambition to provide more care closer to people’s own homes.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Digital prescribing and records introduction boosted by funding

18/09/2020Digital prescribing and records introduction boosted by funding

More patients and healthcare staff are set to benefit from single electronic patient records after the UK Government announced £8.7m fundin... more >
NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

18/09/2020NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

Paul Chrisp, Director of the Centre for Guidelines, NICE When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK’s shores earlier this year, the NHS res... more >
New Lighthouse Labs established to boost testing capacity

17/09/2020New Lighthouse Labs established to boost testing capacity

Testing capacity is set to be significantly boosted through the creation of two new Lighthouse Labs in Newcastle and Bracknell. The announce... more >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’v... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

18/09/2020NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

Paul Chrisp, Director of the Centre for Guidelines, NICE When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK’s shores earlier this year, the NHS responded quickly, diverting and devoting resources to make sure patients facing this new and unknown pathogen received the best possible care. But in doing so, many other health services were reduc... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental health and wellbeing. As the best rugby players in the world repr... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >

interviews

Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

11/09/2020Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

As part of Organ Donation Week, NHE’s Matt Roberts spoke with our Managing Director Roy Rowlands about the importance of raising aware... more >
Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference, Matt Hancock highlighted what he believes to be the three... more >
NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took steps towards her midwifery dreams. Lisa Payne has been delivering ... more >
How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >

health service focus

View all News