The NHS is one of Britain’s greatest achievements and for 71 years. A lot has changed since it was created in 1948, and today the NHS is responding to changes in society that were never expected, let alone planned for.
From the white cliffs of Dover, to the oldest university in the English speaking world at Oxford and the Isle of Wight, one of England’s largest islands – the NHS South East Region spans a widespread and diverse geography covering 19,000 square kilometres (7,336 square miles). There are also marked differences in the health of people across an area with a population of 9.2 m which is roughly equivalent to the size of Belgium.
The NHS is here for everyone and it wants to create a health and care system that supports our populations to live longer, healthier lives.
To make this happen we also need to change how the NHS works by removing barriers to collaboration so we can plan, co-ordinate and deliver services in the best interests of the patient. The South East region has 30 NHS trusts providing hospital, mental health and community services, two ambulance trusts, 18 local authorities and 11 clinical commissioning groups – this makes change at a regional level complex as it involves sustained building of relationships which work best at a more local level.