This week Sir John Oldham has published his independent report into whole-person care.
I believe that the person and their family should be at the centre of the health and care system. Rather than trying to fit people into existing structures, we should reform services so that they begin by asking the patient and their family what they need in order to better live their life, manage their conditions and live independently. People could be supported by one team, with one point of contact for all of their health and care needs.
Whole-person care is essential if the NHS is to survive when there is less money around. It doesn’t just mean better care, but will save billions of pounds that are currently being wasted on the costs of failure.
We don’t need to embark on another top-down reorganisation, the report is clear that that is unnecessary. However I do reject the Government’s approach of a full-blown market in health; Sir John Oldham’s report highlights the problems caused by the Government’s attempts to impose free-market ideology on the NHS.
I would like to see an integrated health and social care service based on collaboration and co-operation, with the patient and their family at its heart.