Guest blog: The emergence of a new model of healthcare by Roy LilleyWhat will the NHS look like in the future?  Well, it depends how you define the future!
 
The NHS is in the grip of the politicians and the political cycle.  That means a five-year electoral cycle.  Between now and the next election in 2020, my guess is not too much will happen.
 
The Secretary of State will kiss and make up his spat with the striking junior doctors, row with more pressure groups who will resist their role in weekend working, and very likely find some more money to balance the books.  Targets will be fudged and there will be more doctors and nurses coming through the system, that a grateful SoS will claim credit for.
 
Of course that is only half the story.  Demand for care from the frail elderly will continue to climb and service pressures will become intolerable.  Expect all targets to recalibrate and a collapse in the care home market.
 
We must not forget the interesting work of the new Vanguards.  My guess is we will see the emergence of a new model; the Accountable Care Organisation. Based around the hospital, it will offer vertically integrated care, running primary, community, secondary and social care; funded through population based, capitated budgets.  Commissioners with be a forgotten relic of a system that didn't work.
 
The future I hope for is one in which the NHS embraces the management of information by the use of technology, and the default way of contacting primary care is through the telephone, FaceTime and Skype.  Primary care will be a virtual service.
 
There is a desperate need for the NHS to break through on the use of the types of technologies and efficiencies that we take for granted in the rest of our lives; Google, Amazon and the rest have much to offer and teach us.
 
With a £22 billion funding gap, the temptation will be for some politicians to look for insurance, top-ups and copayments.  They would do well to remember: taxes may come from the left pocket and copayments from the right, but it's still the same trousers.
 
Whatever happens, something will happen you can bet your shirt!
 

About
Roy Lilley is a health policy analyst, writer, broadcaster and commentator on the National Health Service and social issues.What will the NHS look like in the future?  Well, it depends how you define the future! The NHS is in the grip of the politicians and the political cycle.  That means a five-year electoral cycle.  Between now and the next election in 2020, my guess is not too much will happen.
Get in touch to find out more

The Birth Trauma Inquiry, What’s Next?

How might the report impact maternity services and what are the potential risks of inaction?

Key Messages From the Birth Trauma Report

On review of the report, Moyra Amess, Director of Assurance & Accreditation at CHKS has compiled here her four key messages.

Has data quality reduced in England?

NHS England suspended its National Tariff Payment System (NTPS) early in 2020/21 following the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, trusts were paid by simpler block contract payments.