The mutual future of our National Health Service
4th June 2014
In a letter to national newspaper the Guardian, 71 NHS leaders are urging the three main political parties to come up with solutions to the nation’s overburdened and cash-strapped health service, or “risk it ceasing to be a universal service that is free at the point of need.” They argue that the parties must address the full range of challenges facing the NHS – and crucially how to overcome them – in their 2015 manifestoes.
This intervention from the NHS leaders chimes with the recent report by think tank ResPublica, which recognised that a surge in complex chronic illnesses such as obesity, cancer and dementia, coupled with an ageing population and tightening health budgets, mean that the NHS faces a potential funding gap of £19bn per annum within 10 years.
ResPublica’s Power to the People: The mutual future of our National Health Service, presents David Cameron, Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg with a potential route map out of the current NHS crisis. The report argues that a possible solution could lie in moving away from the current system, that fragments healthcare and towards an integrated system, co-ordinated by health mutuals, providing holistic ‘whole-person’ care. This solution, argues ResPublica, would improve health outcomes, drastically reduce A&E admissions and save the NHS at least £4.5bn, ensuring the NHS remains free at the point of use without the need for additional taxation or charging.
The report recommends that health mutuals, such as benenden health, represent a balanced solution between public and private models and should play a much needed integrator role to help deliver holistic care and make essential efficiencies.
Marc Bell, Chief Executive, benenden health, said: “The leading political parties could win or lose the 2015 general election based on their proposed solutions to the NHS crisis. Therefore, the benefits of the ResPublica report are hugely significant – they give the Government the Holy Grail: a truly sustainable national health service that does not cost more or involve taxing the public further.”
Read more on the AIM website.