Local people are asking for more joined up and straightforward services, and have been for some time.
It's something that must happen but progress has been slow. But now there are some big challenges facing the NHS and care providers, that need our combined efforts to tackle. These challenges mean we have to act now, and act together. In doing so we will create better, local services which are fit for the future.
The big challenges:
We are living longer
This triumph of modern healthcare is also a potential time bomb that could bring our world-beating NHS and social care system to its knees: unless things change.
As we get older, more of us develop health problems and need care to help us live our lives. Current services are not set up to provide this long term support for such a huge number of people.
Better Local Care aims to deliver this change that is so badly needed.
Demand is increasing, but resources are limited.
And a lot of these resources are used by big hospitals. The problem is: people have to get very ill before they go to hospital. Doesn’t it make more sense to give people more support sooner, in their homes and communities, so they don’t need to go to hospital in the first place?
That’s what Better Local Care is all about.
GPs are approaching crisis point.
Local doctors are the gateway to the NHS, and as demand is increasing they are seeing more and more patients with increasingly complex problems. This in turn leads to delays and other frustrations. It also makes being a GP very difficult and stressful, which explains why there are currently more GPs retiring than joining the profession.
By closing the gap between GPs and the rest of the NHS (not to mention social care and the voluntary sector) people can receive the most appropriate care, sooner. GPs will have more time to care for the people that need their expertise the most.
Breaking down barriers to form these new, bigger teams is what Better Local Care aims to do.