CASE FOR CHANGE FEATURE: Diagnosis for change in the NHS

Health authorities last week laid out their '˜Case for Change' in a public document set to prepare the public for a consultation later this year. Here we look a little deeper at that document.

A&E, Grantham Hospital EMN-160613-154514001

Health bosses have laid out their case for major changes to the way health and social care services are delivered– with the current situation described as ‘simply not sustainable’.

It follows the publication of Lincolnshire Health and Care’s (LHAC) Case for Change last Wednesday which reveals the county is spending £60m a year more than it receives in income for health and care provision.

The report says overspend could increase to £300m a year by 2021, unless action is taken.

The report found that services across the country were ‘struggling to deliver consistent, high quality care’.

Allan Kitt, chief officer for Lincolnshire South West CCG, and the LHAC programme, said: “We all believe very strongly that the people of Lincolnshire deserve the best care we can give them.

“We appreciate that at some times change causes uncertainty, and in some cases anxiety, but if we are really to deliver on this ambition we must accept that some of the services now will have to change radically.

“We want to engage the people of Lincolnshire and professionals so that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to our plan and share in our vision for health and care in the county.”

The report also reveals that many key medical posts are unfilled.

There is also confirmation of the crisis facing GP practices across the county and the staff shortages across all departments which hospitals in the county face.

The NHS recommends a ratio of one GP over 1,750 patients but the figure in some areas is 1:2404.

LHAC - a partnernship of 13 organisations - says throwing more funding at services - and recruitment - will not solve many of the problems. It began in 2013 as the Lincolnshire Sustainable Services Review.

The organisation admits the position is likely to get worse with more people living beyond the age of 75. They will require additional care, putting even more strain on services and resources.

Many of the changes could mean people in rural areas would face longer journeys for treatment and appointments.

The Case for Change report comes in advance of a full public consultation expected before the end of the year.