Having coped with the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis, the NHS now faces a significant challenge in protecting and supporting the most vulnerable patients. In addition to the estimated 2.4 million individuals waiting for scans or treatment as a result of disruption to services during the pandemic, many vulnerable patients were not able to access regular care for ongoing conditions.
The law of unforeseen consequences is ever-present. Especially when two great ideas clash.
Take for instance Population Health Management (a great idea that relies on profiling, marketing new services and great communication with patients) and privacy and data legislation (a great idea that prevents automated profiling and electronic marketing without explicit consent).
You know the problem. You’ve asked all your practices to file reports but, despite having a template, they all manage to put the codes down slightly differently and create hours of work.
If you are a CCG trying to harmonise the reporting of your practices and think a digital solution isn’t possible because your surgeries are using different software systems, Vision has the answer.
People in the UK are living with chronic illnesses but not getting appropriate treatment. Without intervention, patients face worsening health with irreversible damage. For some, the outcome will be worse than this. No one is to blame for these undiagnosed conditions. The NHS is not at fault. So what is the problem, and what can you do about it?
Yesterday, The Kings Fund hosted an online event about transforming healthcare at scale. The theme was to explore the advantages of a population level approach to healthcare:
It costs the UK £8 billion a year to treat the preventable complications of diabetes. Over 4 million people are living with diabetes in the UK. Better self-management will make an enormous difference to a patient's well being. If these patients can learn how to manage their illness better, they will reduce the strain on GP practices.
When you treat a patient with diabetes, you can issue them an 'information prescription'.
Traditional primary care services are reactive. A patient feels unwell or experiences symptoms that cause them to visit their GP. During the patient consultation, the GP may make a diagnosis, request tests or refer to a specialist. We accept this approach to healthcare, but with the pressures facing the NHS, we should be looking for alternatives.
We're heading towards a perfect storm. We're living longer, which means more of us live with at least one long-term condition. We're putting more demand on NHS services, but the NHS is under increasing pressure, and there is a shortage of GPs. The situation is not sustainable. Something has to change, and we must reimagine general practice.
Over 22% of the UK population has at least one long-term condition. That's more than 15 million people with conditions that have no cure. Managing these patients' chronic diseases for the rest of their lives will be expensive. There's a human cost too. How does living with one or more long-term condition impact a patient's quality of life?