I’ve written a number of ConservativeHome articles over the years, mostly on the NHS and social care (but not all).
Reviewing them recently I am pleased that some of my recommendations are being enacted, in particular:
Localise the NHS and integrate health and social care – I first proposed this in 2006 and am pleased that the government have endorsed the direction of travel, but there is still more to do. We have huge opportunities with new integrated care partnerships, but we need to ensure that integration is not just about the NHS but also social care and the third sector.
Time for a revolution in the way we train NHS staff – again, I’m delighted that my recommendations for nursing apprenticeships have been taken up and are gaining more strength and traction. But again, until we can have on the job opportunities, so that for example you can join the local system as a care assistant and be able to become over years a nurse consultant or a physiotherapist by on the job training and progression, then the job will not have been done.
The next big thing is the digital agenda – so that for example, with adequate protection, staff can with permission see the records of patients they are caring for when they need to. It can save lives – particularly in getting information in the emergency setting, but but also to make sure care is more joined up.
I will continue to fight for better integration of services and better use and development of our health and care staff. There-in lies the key to better, more joined up, and more cost-effective services for local residents.