Health and Social Care
NHS and social care issues are at the centre of the debate about the country’s future. Policy Exchange’s revitalised Health and Social Care Unit will focus on three great healthcare challenges as part of its Build Back Better Programme. First, with more investment going into our NHS, how do we ensure the new money delivers for patients, families and staff? Second, how do we fix our social care system to support our ageing population? Policy Exchange’s report ’21st century social care’ provides an affordable solution that provides dignity and security to those needing care. Finally, how can we move our healthcare system to a more preventative model of care post-COVID through the use of new technology and innovation, and ensure that new facilities and hospitals are fit for purpose for the decades ahead? Healthcare is changing fast; this work programme looks at how our health and social care system can continue to change to meet the needs of the population.
We are now into the eighth week of the national vaccine rollout. The programme has in many ways already been hugely successful with 6.5 million people, more than one in ten adults in the UK, receiving their first dose, at a rate that is unmatched in Europe. The Government, NHS England and the devolved administrations have continued to ramp up deployment and are on course to meet an ambitious target of offering the first dose of the vaccine to cohorts 1-4 by mid-February. However, a lack of sufficient detail and transparency over data collection will hinder the ability to monitor successes or failures beyond these headlines. This short paper identifies a number of areas where further action should be taken, including a redoubling of efforts to vaccinate harder-to-reach groups such as the most disadvantaged and ethnic minorities.
For far too long our healthcare policy has been focused on an institution, the NHS, rather than the health and wellbeing of the population as a whole. The COVID 19 pandemic has exposed the flaws of this approach. High rates of obesity, increasing health inequality and stalling life expectancy have all translated into a higher death rate recorded from the pandemic.
In the context of the government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals, Policy Exchange is launching a call for evidence to inform a major piece of research into how we should build the next generation of hospitals. Drawing upon the experiences of the NHS in responding to Covid-19, we will explore whether the Government’s new building programme could potentially mark the most comprehensive reform of hospital building in England since the 1960s.
The 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize, launched today in partnership with Policy Exchange, seeks planning and design ideas that will “radically improve” hospital care in the UK and around the world.
The Prize is evidence of a new focus on the long-term improvement in hospital provision in Britain and globally. The UK Government has already announced £3.7 billion of funding towards new hospitals in England for what it calls the “biggest hospital building programme in a generation”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked fundamental questions about our health and social care system. Is the current NHS accountability structure the right one for responding to global pandemics? What is the most effective way of protecting and funding those requiring social care? How can we lock in the technological gains from the pandemic? And how should we build hospitals that better serve the needs of the UK population in the 21st century?
Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for a major speech on the future of public health on 18th August.
The Health Secretary, who gave the first speech by a Cabinet minister after the election at Policy Exchange in December, outlined plans for the establishment of a new body – the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP). T