NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, has pointed to the publication of the Five Year Forward View as one of the most significant moments of the past year.
He highlights the shared direction of the NHS for the next five years as NHS England publishes its second Annual Report and accounts today.
In his introduction to the 2014-15 Annual Report, Mr Stevens states: “It was a year in which the Health Service responded – largely successfully – to wide-ranging operational pressures. But, as importantly, it was a year in which patients’ groups, caring professionals and national leaders came together to chart a shared direction for our country’s NHS for the next five years.”
The report also sets out the priorities going forward, with Mr Stevens adding: “Among our mission-critical tasks over the next five years is fundamental redesign of how services are provided – blurring the old boundaries between GP and hospital care, physical and mental health services, health and social care.
“2015-16 represents Year One of the Five Year Forward View. So, for the year ahead, NHS England has identified key commissioning priorities for improvement. These include cancer care, mental health, learning disabilities, and obesity and diabetes prevention.
“Our care redesign focus will be on primary care, urgent and emergency care, and maternity services. And we will be working with communities and frontline services across England to support a variety of new ‘Vanguards’.”
NHS England Chairman, Sir Malcolm Grant, highlights the unprecedented pressure the NHS frontline has faced, stating: “Demand has continued to increase and we have faced intense pressure on services over the winter. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of people across the service the NHS has continued to maintain such high quality services and care for our patients.”
Sir Malcolm also points to the Five Year Forward View, the need for redesigned care and a major drive to support the NHS’s future sustainability.
He adds: “There is a dawning sense of realism. It is now widely understood that the rate of increase in demand for our services runs well ahead of anticipated growth in GDP so that we cannot expect it to be matched by increases in funding.
“The status quo cannot hold. We need to carry through transformation rather than throwing yet more money at outdated models. Nobody should believe this will be an easy process.
“Transformation on this scale needs strength of purpose, unwavering commitment, and investment to support innovation and to release the entrepreneurial energies within the NHS, to bring care closer to people’s homes and communities, and to support the empowerment of patients to better manage their own health through modern technologies.”
As well as setting out its performance over the last year and its priorities for 2015-16, the report outlines some of NHS England’s most significant achievements, the annual accounts, and gives a Directors’ report.