The transformation of hospital services alone will not solve the challenges facing us.
We are also thinking about how we change community and primary care services, alongside public health improvement and prevention, which must be of equal importance.
Even when we think about all the different parts of the NHS combined, healthcare services are the smallest contributor to our overall health and wellbeing. We need to think even wider, working with our local authority partners to address some of the underlying causes of ill health.
This is why the NHS Long Term Plan , published in January 2019, focuses so heavily on creating properly joined up care across the different parts of the NHS, social care and other partners. Care must be built around a patient’s needs, provided in the best place and by the right health or care professional.
The plan looks to boost care which takes place ‘out of hospital’ and help people improve their health so that they can live longer.
In line with ambitions outlined in the plan, we also want to deliver much more care outside of hospital in future and make sure people are supported in the right way to live healthy lives.
Transforming local hospital services is one of three important parts of how we transform all care locally as we plan for the ever growing demands on our NHS.
It is these three pillars of transformation that will together ensure we can collectively ‘futureproof’ services in South Tyneside and Sunderland for many future generations.
Working with our local communities to prevent ill-health in the first place is equally as important to us as treating people when they do become unwell. Our aim is to reduce the unacceptable gap in life expectancy which exists for people living in different parts of South Tyneside, Sunderland and East and North Durham.