Adult health and social care is going through a time of unprecedented change and modernisation as referenced in a variety of papers including 'Think Local, Act Personal (2011), 'Putting People First' (2007) and 'Our Health, Our Care, Our Say' (2006). The Government white paper "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' (2010) and the subsequent 'Health and Social Care Act' (2012) have led to key legislative changes which impact on care such as clinically led commissioning, patient choice through personalised budgets, commissioning of 'any willing provider', a louder patient voice, and a role for local authorities to join up local services. The greatest change to social care legislation in over 60 years has been implemented in the form of the Care Act 2014, which has significant implications for the on-going integration of health and social care.
Pressures in terms of rising demand and treatment costs are increasing as the population ages and long term care needs are becoming more common, along with a growing number of treatment options which are increasingly expensive and complex. In this age of financial challenge, new ways of working are required which will lead to greater efficiency and improved patient experience, including the need for joint commissioning and delivery of health and social care services, and increasingly, the integration of these services.
New ways of meeting care needs will impact on how health and social care is delivered, by whom, and where it takes place. In addition, new medical and information technologies, such as portable monitors that reduce the need for face to face medical appointments, or the use of telecare, will impact on the workforce and the delivery of care.
All of these factors impact the market for health and social care; the challenge for us in North East Lincolnshire is to improve quality and outcomes for our residents at an affordable cost.