NHS England’s Medical Director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, has said that the NHS must embrace common sense changes to prepare the NHS for the future, including plans to support people with long-term conditions more effectively.
Sir Bruce said:
“We are seeing more and more people with chronic conditions and as life expectancy increases, so do the ailments of old age which require closer linking of health and social care services.
“Advances in medicine also mean it is now possible to treat people at home who would previously have needed a trip to hospital. It also means those with the most serious illness need to be treated in centres where specialist help is available around the clock. […]
“It is self-evident that the NHS in every part of the country needs a clear plan to take advantage of these new opportunities and ensure it spends every pound of taxpayers’ money wisely.”
Commenting on Sir Bruce Keogh’s statement, NCHA Policy Officer Jakob Stenkvist said, “Adult hearing loss is one of the most common long-term conditions in older people, with 70% of over 70s affected. In 1988 a leading patient group called for hearing care to be delivered out of hospital, but today hospitals in England still carry out 1.1 million hearing aid repairs each year. We estimate that in total two million adult visits per year could be delivered out of hospital while saving the NHS millions of pounds. We, like the rest of the world, should take a common sense approach to non-medical hearing care and deliver it in the community, close to people’s homes”.
Sir Bruce was speaking as the King’s Fund published a new report on local plans to improve services, known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).