Ian Sturgess, an urgent and emergency care expert, creator of the Directory for Ambulatory Emergency Care for Adults, and advisor at TeleTracking UK, explains why operational solutions are vital in delivering Integrated Care Systems, transforming patient flow, and improving clinical quality.
When the NHS was founded on 5 July, 1948, post-war Britain was facing a health crisis formed of nursing staff shortages, continued food rationing, scarcity of housing, spiralling tuberculosis death rates, and reeling from an exceptionally-severe winter.
All of these challenges combined were exacerbating existing inequalities in access to care.
And its goal to provide free and universal benefits to all those in need, was – and remains – laudable.
Since then, however, the health and care needs of our population have changed.
People are living longer with multiple, complex long-term conditions and increasingly require long-term support from many different services and professionals.
As a consequence, people too often receive fragmented care – a remnant of an historic focus on treating single conditions or illnesses – from services that are not effectively co-ordinated around their needs.