A new analysis of different experiences for patients living in one of the 42 new NHS regions has revealed wide discrepancies in treatment in different parts of the country.
Ministers are pushing through Parliament on one of the largest NHS re-organisations in nearly a decade, with the aim of creating a new integrated care system across England from April next year. They will be tasked to provide better joint care across different organizations.
But the new bodies face an uphill struggle, with the sweeping changes in results revealed in a new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
It has been found that emerging ICS areas already have a north-south divide and are creating differences and worse experiences for patients depending on where they live.
NS IPPR Report found that maternal mortality for women was 16 times higher in the Sussex and East Surrey region than in the Suffolk and North East Essex region. Norfolk and Waveney had nine times more delayed discharges than in Sussex and East Surrey, where patients are left hospitalized.
Mental health patients with serious problems in Bath, Northeast Somerset and the Swindon and Wiltshire ICS were three times more likely to be a care coordinator than in the Leicestershire area.
Similarly, children with a mental health emergency in Birmingham and Solihull were 80 percent more likely to be seen by a mental health specialist within four weeks than children in Gloucestershire.
Diabetic patients are 2.6 times more likely to have a leg amputated in Northamptonshire than in Lincolnshire.
A postcode lottery in NHS results has been famous for years, but the IPPR warned that the new health and care bill alone would not solve the problems. Instead, it argues that new organizations need to create a new culture of working together with the law, as well as investing, to drive change.
Dr Partha Patel, an NHS doctor and research fellow at the thinktank, said: “A record £36bn investment paired with major structural reform in the NHS and social care must ultimately be judged on whether they improve outcomes for patients .
“The Health and Care Bill is promising, but getting health and care services to work optimally together depends on culture at least as much as it does on structure. What cannot be shipped – but it can be shaped. Government must do more to empower local leaders to build a truly connected health and care system.
“People and communities need better ways to focus healthcare. At a time when the NHS is severely stretched, it cannot afford a further restructuring that does little to improve stability and patient outcomes. This should be a turning point for health and care.”
The IPPR said the patients should be placed on the boards of new organizations and that power should be transferred from Whitehall to local leaders. This also calls for a
It also calls for a new community health-building fund for local areas to improve non-NHS services that impact health inequalities. Other proposals include more funding to promote investment in digital technology and data sharing as well as leadership training to help individual owners break out of traditional silos.
The IPPR analysis in partnership with Cornell Farrar Consultancy found that if all new 42 areas matched the performance seen in the top 25 per cent it would mean 42,600 more bed days would be available in the NHS due to fewer delayed discharges.
An additional 63,300 people will have a mental health care plan and there will be 68,600 less A&E attendance by people with mental health problems.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /