Last week, the NHS published a Five Year Forward View.
Amongst other things, it envisages a new care model which is close to the proposals I have brought forward – the Primary and Acute Care System:
We will now permit a new variant of integrated care in some parts of England by allowing single organisations to provide NHS list-based GP and hospital services, together with mental health and community care services.
In some circumstances – such as in deprived urban communities where local general practice is under strain and GP recruitment is proving hard – hospitals will be permitted to open their own GP surgeries with registered lists. This would allow the accumulated surpluses and investment powers of NHS Foundation Trusts to kick-start the expansion of new style primary care in areas with high health inequalities. Safeguards will be needed to ensure that they do this in ways that reinforce out-of-hospital care, rather than general practice simply becoming a feeder for hospitals still providing care in the traditional ways.
Another new care model, the Multispecialty Community Provider, might when mature take over the running of its main district general hospital.
Across the NHS, urgent and emergency care services will be redesigned to integrate between A&E departments, GP out-of-hours services, urgent care centres, NHS 111, and ambulance services. Smaller hospitals will have new options to help them remain viable, including forming partnerships with other hospitals further afield, and partnering with specialist hospitals to provide more local services. Midwives will have new options to take charge of the maternity services they offer. The NHS will provide more support for frail older people living in care homes.
It seems there are good reasons for being positive about the future of healthcare in Wycombe and at our hospital specifically, if all the necessary hard work is done well.