I want to bring you up to speed with progress on the Urgent and Emergency Care Review that I launched with NHS England earlier this year. Over the coming months people involved with the Review will continue to blog here and keep you up-to-date about the work we are doing. Perhaps more importantly, I want to encourage you to comment on what we are doing.
There were a number of reasons why I believed that a review of the current emergency and urgent care system was necessary.
Many patients and clinicians have voiced real concerns that the current system is under pressure and will struggle to cope long-term with the growing demands. Looking back, the performance of the system during the cold winter of 2012 proved that those worries were valid.
Therefore, my hope was that this Review would be a stimulus for thought about how we could better organise and offer care between our hospitals, primary and community care, and social services to deal with these pressures.
We are in the second decade of the 21st century. The way we deliver care now is very different from 10 or 20 years ago. Advances in medical science have meant that treatments have improved and acceptable standards have continuously evolved.
So I also hoped that this Review would allow us all to consider whether the system of care we currently know, use, and work in has kept pace with these advances and, if not, what changes need to be made.
I was also conscious of the ongoing debate across the health and social care sectors about whether we currently deliver care in a way that is truly in tune with the needs of the patients, really listening to the people that rely on these services.
We are living longer, our health needs are becoming more complex, and I wanted to see whether the current system was geared up to meet these types of challenges.
Above all, I wanted to move the debate into the public domain, using the best evidence available to us, and with no issues considered “untouchable” or off the table.
The first phase of this review is now complete. It was all about generating an evidence base and principles for change which we believed would tackle some of the current problems and deliver a better, more sustainable, urgent and emergency care system.
Over the summer we tested our ideas and asked the public to feedback on them, including suggestions for improvements. I am pleased to say that you responded to our invitation in substantial numbers.
Today we published our report on the first phase of this Review, outlining our findings so far and our plans for the future.
I would encourage you to continue to help us with our work. You can read what we have concluded so far on NHS Choices: nhs.uk/NHSEngland/keogh-rev...
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