New research by YouGov for Health+Care and Commissioning, which started today London’s ExCel, reveals that the public believe NHS commissioners should prioritise care for the elderly and access to GPs at weekends.
To provide direction for the current cohort of NHS commissioners, the public were asked what they considered to be the greatest priorities for the NHS over the next five years, choosing from:
• Care for the elderly
• Care closer to home (eg, care at home or in local clinics outside hospital)
• Access to GPs at weekends
• Prevention (ie, tackling public health issues like smoking and obesity)
• Greater use of technology (eg, Skype consultations, health monitoring wearables)
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, says: “It is hugely reassuring that the general public view care of the elderly as a priority, which is too often swept aside as a Cinderella service – one of our main challenges as a country is an aging population living with one or many long-term conditions.
“Their dignity and quality of life remains our absolute priority. All new governments set increasing expectations for the health and social care system and the current administration will do this against the backdrop of austerity. The most important thing for commissioners to know, is how to work smarter not harder, in order to deliver a high quality and sustainable service.
“My priority is to look at the potential of residential care services to deliver flexible high quality care for people with long-term conditions, and I will challenge commissioners and providers to deliver quality care while still saving money.”