The NHS Confederation has launched the NHS Reset campaign to contribute to the public debate on what the health and care system should look like post COVID-19.
The coronavirus outbreak has changed the NHS and social care, ushering in rapid transformation at a time of immense pressure and personal and professional challenge. Over the past few weeks, one message from leaders and clinicians across the UK has been clear: we must build on the progress made to chart a new course.
This has led to the NHS Confederation launching its NHS Reset campaign.
Galvanising members from across the NHS Confederation and wider partners in health and social care, NHS Reset aims to recognise the sacrifices and achievements of the COVID period, rebuild local systems and reset the way health and care is planned, commissioned and delivered.
The campaign will support leaders to:
- Recognise both the sacrifice and achievements of the health and care sector’s response to COVID-19, including the major innovations that have been delivered at pace.
- Rebuild local service provision to meet the physical, mental and social needs of communities affected by severe economic and social disruption.
- Reset our ambitions for what the health and care system of the future should look like, including its relationship with the public and public services.
It will seek to influence forthcoming national strategies, including from NHS England and NHS Improvement, and their priorities for a reset. It will also look to guide local systems through their own thinking, ensuring they are able to lock in the beneficial changes they have collectively brought forward.
Responding to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s position statement ‘Resetting Emergency Department Care’, Dr Layla McCay, Director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: “As the Royal College of Emergency Medicine recognises, we cannot go back to overcrowded emergency departments and we have to find a way to manage patient demand when the immediate COVID-19 crisis is over.
“We have seen significant improvements in the way emergency care has been managed in recent weeks but we know the numbers of patients going to their local A&E will ramp up again. We need to capture the innovations we have seen, such as establishing mental health crisis helpline services and increasing ‘hear and treat’ and ‘see and treat’ services by ambulance staff which means fewer people need to be taken to hospital by ambulance.
“But we must also recognise that many people are not seeking treatment when they should through fear of contracting the virus or contributing to the pressure on the NHS. Our message to the public is the NHS is open for business and you should seek treatment if you need it.
“The clear message we have been hearing from health and care leaders and clinicians has been that this is an opportunity to reset the way we plan, commission and deliver health and care.
“We have launched #NHSReset to contribute to the public debate about the future of health and social care. We will need to build on the integration of primary care, community services and urgent and emergency services we have seen over recent weeks. The challenge will be to make sure that these new services or ways of working are safe for patients and produce the clinical outcomes we want to see.”