The NHS Five Year Forward View – get in the mix
By guest blogger DEBBIE SORKIN, National Director of Systems Leadership at the Leadership Centre
In the European Union, there’s a saying bureaucrats use when negotiations between countries are taking place: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” In the case of the NHS Five Year Forward View, there’s a distinct sense that social care providers may not even have reached the list of ingredients in the recipe.
The Five Year Forward View, published last October, is an attempt by the NHS, along with other national bodies like CQC, to face up to the implications of its impending financial crisis and identify how, by integrating services much more and placing more emphasis on prevention, it can continue to provide a universal health service and improve the quality of care. This means more integration between health and social care, and social care playing a central role in people’s health and wellbeing.
Although social care isn’t actually mentioned very much in the Forward View – I counted roughly a dozen mentions – and few examples are given, I think that social care providers – wherever they are in the system – should see this as an open invitation to get involved, and take it. One way is to get involved with the new models of care that are now on the table: “Multispeciality Community Providers” – GP networks combined with other services, including mental health and social care, to create integrated out-of-hospital support; “Primary and Acute Care Systems” which combine hospital, primary and social care; and enhanced models of care in residential care homes.
There are 29 “Vanguard” sites around the country putting these into practice, and another 230 that applied, didn’t make it and will still be going ahead. There’s more information about them, and where they are, on the NHS England website. We already have great examples of social care providers working in partnership with CCGs and acute NHS Trusts. So if your local CCG or acute trust hasn’t yet been in contact with you, be proactive: get in touch with them and show them how you can help.
And persevere – I sometimes describe social care as the ‘invisible river’ running underneath, and supporting, healthcare, and there’s something of this in the glimpses of social care in the Five Year Forward View. But it doesn’t have to be this way: and it can’t if we’re to have a care service that works in accordance with what people want and need. The Five Year Forward View is an open door, and social care should be storming through it with all the force it can muster.
– Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org; @DebbieSorkin2 on Twitter.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.