Some emerging strands of health policy are as follows:
- Targets for health gain focusing on the main killers: cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke, accidents and mental illness.
- Achieving continuous quality improvement in health care by the continued implementation of Clinical Governance.
- Ensuring that health care professionals work more flexibly and in new partnerships to improve patient care.
- Developing a new strategy to enhance the contribution which nurses, midwives and health visitors make to health care.
- Achieving more efficiency and effectiveness in health care delivery by combining performance management, process review and the latest IT.
The preferred work styles are:
- More devolved decision making, achieved through introducing Care groups.
- More emphasis on doing fewer things really well at all levels to ensure we improve year on year.
- More encouragement of a positive, proactive approach and partnership working.
- More determination to tackle the difficult things as well as the things that come more easily.
- More consistency by setting standards which are well communicated and well monitored.
- More involvement of key people in the design and development of services, especially staff and patients.
- More informed staff who are confident about the present and not fearful of the future.
The emerging vision indicates that we need to:
- Maintain current initiatives in health strategy, the new management structure, Clinical Governance, IT, business planning, performance management and process review.
- Secure our current services by addressing a number of deficits which are now becoming critical to our operation as our services undergo a step change to meet the increasing demands. This will require considerable additional resource now.
- Plan to reduce uncertainty and risk and ensure that we are able to prepare and adapt to The New Hospital, which will also demand additional resources.
- Invest resources in reviewing our work processes in advance of implementing a new IT strategy with a view to achieving greater efficiency in the way we deliver health care.