It is fair to say that the NHS is under massive pressure, this is despite the valiant work of the front line staff who fight tooth and nail to stem the tide of rising demand. Its also fair to say that the NHS across the country is trying really hard to look at alternative methods of delivering front line services, to make scarce resources go further, but also to provide higher quality services closer to patient and their carers homes.
Recent publications suggest that quality of care, and by definition therefore the costs of, services across the country need to be improved. This is the conudrum, Trusts face as they strive to deliver the challenging savings agenda they face over the coming years.
My father used to say that if you do the same things all the time, why was I surprised when the same results happened. Its a simple saying but has some credence in todays NHS. Trusts will coming to squeeze the pips of their cost base, and try to deliver the 2% savings, year on year, but this is getting ever more difficult to sustain.
There is exciting times ahead in Greater Manchester where the whole of the conurbation is working together with both health and social care managed as one budget. This is designed to help take away the barriers that both health and social care find at ground level when they are trying to deal with the demands of increasing requirements for both health and social care at a time when budgets are incredibly tight on both sides.
Time will tell if the "devo manc" pilot will work but it won't be for the want of trying to make the scare resources on both sides of the debate go further to better the outcome for patients and service users.
More to come in the coming months, as I work my way through the exciting work across Greater Manchester.