The Government is currently planning how to redesign health and social care services in your area and throughout England. The aim of these changes is to make services ready to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

The National Health Service (NHS) and Social Care were designed in 1948 when England was a very different place, there were fewer people and
our needs have changed drastically.

  • Since 1951 the population of England has increased from 41 million to a current estimate of 53.5 million and is expected to rise to 61 million by 2032, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
  • The number of people aged 65 and over has almost doubled in the last sixty years.
  • The number of people aged 85 and over in England rose to 1.2 million in 2011, six times as many as in 1951. This number is projected to rise to over 2.6 million in 2032 (ONS).

Long term health conditions now take up to 70% of the health service budget.

Why are services changing?

People living longer is cause for celebration especially as many remain highly active members of society.

However, because we are living longer our services are having to deal with the increasing management of chronic or ongoing conditions,
e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease and dementia. As people age they are also more likely to be living
with multiple health conditions.

There are also significant financial constraints for both health and social care, which mean that services cannot continue to be provided in the same way. More money needs to be put into preventing ill health and helping people early on, before they get seriously ill, as this is when services cost the most.

How are services going to change?

Fortunately there is now agreement on what a better future should be.

The Five Year Forward View published in October 2014 by NHS England sets out a clear direction for the NHS – showing why change is needed and what it will look like.

What might this mean for you?

  • There will be more help for me in the community where I live.
  • My care will be the same whether I am ill during the day, at night or at the weekend.
  • As a carer I will be able to get a break if needed.
  • I will have access to information and a greater support network to help me manage my condition better.
  • I will remain independent for as long as possible.
  • The teams supporting me will work together so I only tell my story once.
  • I will know where to go and who to talk to.
  • If I need help recovering from either a physical or mental health condition.
  • I will feel supported and I will receive help at home if possible.
  • Hospitals will be there when I need specialist care.
  • I will know where to go and who to talk to.
  • Services will be joined up and I will feel all professionals are working together to make it easier for me.
  • My GP practice will be central to my care and know everything about me.
  • I will make one call and my care will be delivered by the most appropriate person.
  • If I am a carer I will be supported in all aspects of the care of a loved one.

How can Healthwatch help?

We can provide help and support on all health and social care matters and we want to help you add your voice to influence what happens to your local
services.  We have legal powers which mean that we can ask questions on your behalf and health and social care services are legally required to answer us, and
in turn you.

Change is needed but exactly where and how is up for discussion.

We would like you to be part of that discussion.  Our power comes from the collective voice of the public, which means that the more people who ‘Speak Out’ about how they want to be cared for, the more we can ‘Speak Up’ and ensure that services meet your needs.

To add your voice to the discussion about how services in your local area may change, complete our questionnaire.

Complete Service Redesign Questionnaire 

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