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fit for purpose - the Five Year Forward View

28 October 2014

On 23 October Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS, launched the 'Five Year Forward View'. The FYFV is designed to set out a clear sense of direction for the NHS and the way services need to change and improve. It has been developed by NHS England in partnership with Monitor, Health Education England, the NHS Trust Development Agency, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission.

The FYFV identifies four fronts where action needs to be taken to prevent growing health and wellbeing, care and quality and funding and efficiency gaps in the next 5 years:

  • tackling the root causes of ill health by upgrading prevention and public health services;
  • giving patients more control over their own care and greater support to carers and volunteers;
  • developing new models of care to reflect the changing needs of the population; and
  • greater investment in the NHS workforce, technology and innovation to support and deliver new models of care.

The FYFV recognises that when it comes to developing these new models of care there is a balance to be struck between imposing new care delivery options and allowing local health communities to design their own. The idea is that similar health communities are identified and that they work together to identify appropriate new models of care delivery. The examples cited in the document are:

  • Multi-speciality Community Provider – groups of GPs would combine with nurses, other community health services, hospital specialists, mental health and social care to create integrated out of hospital care;
  • Primary and Acute Care Systems – integrated hospital and primary care providers;
  • integrated urgent and emergency care services;
  • smaller hospitals – able to form partnerships with other hospitals further afield/specialist hospitals;
  • maternity services – midwives will have more opportunity to take control of the services they offer;
  • more NHS support will be provided to older people in care homes.

In addition to these new models of care the FYFV commits to more investment in primary care with CCGs being given the opportunity to take more control over the wider NHS budget to enable a shift in investment from acute to primary and community services.

These changes will be supported by continued partnership working between the organisations behind the FYFV and local flexibility in the way payment rules, regulatory requirements and other mechanisms are applied.

The FYFV’s vision for the future NHS is premised on the idea that local communities are given the power to reinvent healthcare rather than further governmental reform. However, its success will be dependent on the next government adopting this vision and following it through after next May’s general election, and it remains to be seen how many of the key themes would survive a change of government.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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