As our population grows, and grows older, we need more and different health and care services. The services we have now were not all designed to meet the needs of today or the future and it is becoming harder to keep up with rising costs. In addition, we need to do more to prevent illness and support people to manage existing conditions and stay independent. There are large gaps between what we have now and what we need and local people deserve better.
Health and wellbeing gap
We have a growing and aging population and more and more people are living with long-term conditions. We have a large older population and people living in some of our coastal towns experience significantly worse health than people living elsewhere. We also have above average rates of smoking among 15 year olds, adult obesity and hospitalisation for self-harm.
Care quality gap
We face challenges in primary care, with a growing number of vacancies for GPs and premises that are no longer fit for modern healthcare. People can’t always get appointments quickly and this means diseases might not get detected early enough or existing conditions get worse.
Many of our hospitals also face significant challenges. Waiting times for routine surgery, cancer treatments and emergency care are not improving as we want them to, and it is difficult to recruit the right staff.
Finance and efficiency gap
If we simply carry on providing services in the way we have in the past and do nothing to change the way we work, then by 2020/21 the gap between the resources available and the money we will have spent will be close to £900m.