Working together to future proof services

​Since its creation in 1948 the NHS has constantly adapted. Things change and the NHS needs to keep up too.

Things change

As life expectancy increases so too do the ailments of old age, and there are now more people with chronic conditions like heart failure and arthritis. There are also big opportunities to improve care by making practical changes to how the NHS and social care works. Improvements like making it easier to see a GP, speeding up access to appointments which will allow us to receive our diagnosis at the earliest possible time, and offering help faster to people with mental ill health problems.

To achieve this, our staff, our citizens, our communities, and other interested agencies need to work more closely together, and in new ways to improve health and wellbeing, improve the quality of care people receive and to ensure our services are efficient.

You can see examples of how this is already happening in the videos on the right.


Even though in recent years the number of qualified clinical staff in the NHS rose by 3.9 per cent, there are just not enough nationally for some services. As healthcare has developed, so has the role of doctors and nurses. Care and treatment can now be provided by a wide range of healthcare professionals - not just doctors. If we look at different ways of working it would mean people being seen and treated more quickly.


We've got some tough financial pressures which is mostly down to increased demand on services and people living longer. Of course it’s a good thing that so many people are living longer but it does mean the way we work needs to change to meet the needs of an ageing population, so they can live well.

Future proofing hospital services

Changes to how we live and work combined with the staff and finance challenges means we need to act now to future proof local hospital services.

We are committed to having a local hospital in every town and city and the independent review of hospital services will look at how we can do this, identifying which services would benefit from being providing in different ways. It is just one part of the overall approach. At the same time as the review, we are continuing our work on developing more and more ways of treating and caring for people in their homes and local clinics, so that they don’t need to go to hospital.