Priorities for the NHS and social care in 2017

King’s Fund, 2017

2017 promises to be another challenging year for the health and care system, with demand for care increasing faster than the supply of resources.

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Image Source: The Kings Fund

A system already stretched to its limits will have to work even harder to maintain current standards of care and to balance budgets. This requires a continuing focus on operational performance and renewed efforts to transform the delivery of care at a time when frontline staff are working under intense pressure.

The NHS five year forward view (Forward View) will be tested to its limits as leaders work to improve performance and transform care. The NHS locally has to deliver £15 billion of the £22 billion efficiency improvements required under the Forward View, with the remaining £7 billion to be delivered nationally. It also has to provide evidence that new care models are delivering benefits. Failure to do so will raise serious questions about the assumptions on which the Forward View was based and on the ability of leaders to deliver their plans.

Against this background, the King’s Fund document highlights the following priorities for the NHS for the year ahead: Supporting new care models, implementing sustainability and transformation plans, delivering better value, strengthening leadership, and securing adequate funding.

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