Samedaydoctor was interviewed today on Talk Radio with Julia Hartley-Brewer about the newly announced health reforms outlined below.
Enhancing patients’ right to choose: Patients will be offered more choice and know average waiting times at the point of referral. Those waiting the longest will be contacted by the NHS to be given the opportunity to change provider to reduce their wait. The NHS will support patients with travel costs if feasible and will engage with the independent sector so all options available. By the end of this year, all patients that have been waiting for 18 months or more will be contacted to discuss the choices they have about changing provider.
Expanding the number of people benefitting from personalised care: Over 4 million people are set to benefit by 2024 from the expansion of personalised care, empowering people to manage their health conditions and have more choice and control over their care. This can include social prescribing, care and support plans and personal health budgets. This expansion follows the NHS exceeding its target of 2.5 million people two years earlier than planned.
Expanding personal health budgets: Going beyond the existing target of 200,000 people benefitting from a personal health budget by 2024, giving people and their carers more choice and control over their own care. In addition, exploring the introduction of legal rights to a joint funded health and social care budget.
Increasing use of the NHS App to help people manage their health: The NHS has a target of 75% of all adults in England using the NHS app by March 2024, making it easier for people to book appointments, communicate with their health provider, see test results and get advice to manage their health and wellbeing As part of this, the first ever comprehensive Digital Health Plan will be published in the spring. It builds on initiatives from the pandemic, such as virtual wards where COVID-19 patients were monitored at home with their loved ones, which the NHS aims to expand across the country.
Rolling out electronic records to 90% of trusts by December 2023 and 80% of social care providers by March 2024: The increased use of electronic records will allow staff to know immediately which doctors a patient has already seen, which medication they are on, and which conditions they have already been diagnosed with. Currently 40% of social care providers have introduced electronic records and around 79% of NHS trusts.
Raising awareness of the ‘Shared Lives’ scheme: The scheme matches someone who needs care, for example adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or other needs, with an approved carer and sees them living or staying with them. To date, 9,000 people are supported by the scheme in England and the Social Care White Paper announced up to £30 million to help embed innovations like this.