2022 Predictions for the NHS
As we approach the end of January, it’s clear that 2022 is already in full flow and will be another busy year for the NHS - with multiple challenges to tackle and opportunities to take on.
We asked experts from across the NHS what their predictions for this year are, and what they think needs to happen within the healthcare landscape.
Daniel Kane, CEO, General Practice Alliance:
“Following on from the pandemic, I believe there will be significant resources dedicated to the development of Respiratory Hubs in the near future. Hubs will need to provide an enhanced level of care that supports the delivery of diagnostics, remote monitoring and specialist care in a community setting. This would mean a shift from the traditional models of care that are hospital based, and moving towards a greater integration with primary and community care services, as well as a sharing of staff across organisations to achieve the goal of better patient care through Integrated Care Systems. Diagnostic Hubs for Respiratory could enable practices to deal with the perennial issue of Estates and capacity within their walls, as well as assist with the scarcity of appropriately trained staff by pooling staff across primary and secondary care. Remote models of care such as Pulmonary Rehabilitation could be provided as group video consultations to reduce the travel burden on patients and improve their compliance to treatment.
Population health management data will be used to improve the identification of patients on clinical registers and potentially at-risk cohorts that could be tackled early as preventative medicine. A Bio-Psycho-Social model of care will be implemented to improve patient pathways with a focus built around personalised care planning, and ensuring that care is simply not focusing on the single body part such as the lungs or heart, but holistically.
Technology will be harnessed to identify and stratify patients at risk, and implement a more proactive service. Patient self-monitoring, such as in the case of Asthma patients, could enable sufferers to take greater control over their condition. This would identify incidents when appropriate treatment is signalled, through the use of algorithmic mobile apps that could escalate and safety-net patients where possible and provide the most appropriate care at the correct time.”
Dr Natasha Behl, GP Partner, Solihull Healthcare Partnership, Clinical Lead, First 5 GPs, Birmingham and Solihull CCG, Clinical Chair, Midlands Fellowship Delivery Group, NHSEI Midlands:
“The key focus in 2022 across England, Scotland and Wales will be the formation of Integrated Care Systems that look to deliver integrated care collaboratively between health and social care systems.
Locally, within Birmingham and Solihull, we aim to launch our BSol ICS on 1st July. We will see services that are more personalised and organised around individuals, reducing that chiasm and boundary between different care systems. The realm of opportunity here is huge.
Furthermore, we are already enjoying the fruits of locality, working through the recent Winter Access Fund and urgent treatment centres to increase capacity in Primary Care - and this will only continue in the future.”
Dr Ollie Hart, GP, Sloan Medical Centre Sheffield, Clinical Director, Heeley Plus PCN, Director Peak Health Coaching:
“The NHS aspires to deliver personalised care. It was big in the NHS 10 year plan of 2019, but something major got in the way! I really hope that this Spring, as Omicron rates settle, is the time we can refocus on personalised care. This is a focus on building the control a person has over their own care, and how they influence their own health outcomes. We know from decades of research that people who feel more confident and are more skilful and knowledgeable at looking after themselves do best. Of course, there are some things that are just bad luck, but much of what influences our health and wellbeing is strongly influenced by how we think and what we do.
In the background the foundations for personalised care have still been established. Primary Care Networks have been able to experiment with new roles such as health coaches and link workers, and new ways of working with them.
Health Coaches are skilled at supporting behaviour change, be it starting very small with new ways of thinking and building confidence, through to planning out new ways to lead your life, moving, eating, sleeping and living differently. Health Coaches focus on the things people can do to look after their physical and mental health.
Link Workers complement this coaching approach well. They help connect people with groups and activities that help to unlock their potential or maintain progress. In the process they help to build dynamic, connected communities, social and physical environments that support good living.
I work as a GP and Clinical director of a PCN, I’ve seen great early markers of how this can work. I can see how it can complement what we’ve always tried to do in primary care, treating the whole person in their individual context. Alongside this, I’ve grappled with how we develop the skills needed in all our staff to embrace this approach. I’m part of a team that teaches a wide range of people in health and social care how to take a coaching approach. Of course, this means I have a conflict of interest here, but I chose to invest my time and energy in developing the building blocks for personalised care because I know it works. I’ve seen it and felt it for myself and the patients I serve. It stimulates highly productive conversations, improving my enjoyment of work and what the patients get out of our time together. I hope 2022 is the year that more people will experience how good personalised care feels.”
Dr Emma Hamilton, General Practitioner and Training Programme Director (Peterborough GP Speciality training scheme)
“What I am hoping for this year is a focus on primary care staffing. With my role as a training programme director and as training expansion lead for the local training hub this is at the forefront of my mind.
I would like to see a promotion of general practice as a speciality to medical students and foundation year doctors, and to see qualified GP’s finding they have time to develop themselves as trainers.
Our current GP trainees are seeing general practice at possibly its worst. We need to keep them inspired to continue training and aiming to work within a primary care that is sustainable, and with a manageable workload. We need our current GP’s to feel that they have the time available to be part of the training programme. We know that training practices often have more success with recruitment.”
What are your predictions for the NHS in 2022? If you’d like to share them with us, click here to send us an email.