In a recent document, NHS England has detailed their 10 key priorities for 2022/23. Chief among them is the need to focus on restoring services, meet new demands and clear the backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The full list is as follows:
- Invest in the workforce
- Respond to COVID-19 more effectively
- Tackle the elective care backlog
- Improve the responsiveness of urgent and emergency care
- Improve timely access to primary care
- Enhance services for people with learning disabilities
- Continue to develop approach to population health management, prevent ill-health and address health inequalities
- Harness the power of digital technologies to transform the delivery of care and patient outcomes
- Use resources effectively
- Establish ICBs and collaborative system working
To ensure these goals are met, NHS organisations are being urged to take pandemic learnings into account so that new models of care which utilise the power of digital technologies can be rapidly introduced.
In the opening letter by NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard, she states: “The objectives set out in this document are based on a scenario where COVID-19 returns to a low level and we are able to make significant progress in the first part of next year as we continue to rise to the challenge of restoring services and reducing the COVID backlogs”.
“Building on the excellent progress seen during 2021/22, this means significantly increasing the number of people we can diagnose, treat and care for in a timely way. This will depend on us doing things differently, accelerating partnership working through integrated care systems (ICSs) to make the most effective use of the resources available to us across health and social care, and ensure reducing inequalities in access is embedded in our approach.”