Filed Under (Health Improvement, Health Policy) by Paul on 22-05-2009
I was part of the panel that helped to launch this monograph. With a year to go before an election, there are a whole host of policy pamphlets coming out, but there are two things that make this one different. First it was sponsored by Asthma UK. Given that three quarters of the NHS spend takes place on long term conditions it is important that a least one glimpse of the future is based around change and long term conditions. Most general discussions about what will happen next in the NHS nod towards the importance of long term conditions, but then continue to talk about acute care as the core of their future. So starting and finishing a view of the future around Long Term Conditions is key.
Second the main speakers on the day and many of the chapters are written not by policy wonks but by GPs. Their analysis of their present – and the model they work in -demonstrated why the depth of the problem. Waiting in a room for people who think they are ill to decide to come to you (or not) really doesn’t make much policy sense, but it’s the way in which current policy places our most important resource primary care GPs in the present structure.
What everyone agreed is that rolling this architecture forward for the future will not create a future for the NHS. There was a universal recognition of the need for radical change in the interaction between patient and doctor is one of the main thrusts of change not just into the future but now.
I used the opportunity to develop the argument in my HSJ article DIY Doctors on 30th April about the importance of developing a new vision of how value is created for the NHS. This was especially important given the fact that this was sponsored by Asthma UK who themselves recognise the way in which patients with asthma can improve both their own health but also change the way in which the economics of health is created.