The way in which health services are delivered needs to change. The number of people using the NHS is increasing because we are living longer and as new technological advances in medicine are made, more money is needed to pay for them. This puts an enormous strain on the health service budget so the NHS is looking at new ways of providing health care more efficiently, and putting more focus on helping people to prevent ill health.
Hospital care is very expensive so one of the new models of care the NHS is looking at is to provide more care closer to home in the community, rather than in large hospitals.
GPs and pharmacists have an important role to developing this new model, and the Primary Care priority programme board is leading on this, working through Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).
The primary care priority programme board is chaired by Felicity Cox, Director of Commissioning for NHS England South East (Kent, Surrey, Sussex).
ICBSs are gradually taking over the responsibility for commissioning, or buying, primary care (GP, dental, pharmacy and optician services) from NHS England and the programme board is overseeing this work.
The aim is to ensure that primary care commissioning in the future will deliver more care outside of hospital, support self-care and reduce the number of patients being treated in large hospitals.
A number of NHS organisations across the country have been chosen as “vanguards” to work through some new models of care for health services.
At NHS England we want patients and the public to be at the heart of everything we do. To help achieve this we have developed a framework for patient and public participation in primary care commissioning. The framework is a guide for primary care commissioners, in NHS England and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), on how to involve patients and the public in the commissioning of primary care services.
More information on patient and public involvement can be found on the national NHS England website.