12 August 2016

This week has been hectic locally, but the NHS has also been in the spotlight nationally. You cannot get away from the fact that the NHS is under real pressure, with headlines from St Helen’s CCG and what they are proposing to do to reduce their expenditure really bringing into sharp focus our own challenge.

Alongside this, we have the Olympics, where human endeavour and commitment are seen at their best. All of this got me thinking about the parallels.

There is no doubt that top sportsmen are focused; they plan and train tirelessly for key moments like the Olympics. They prepare a detailed plan and ensure that their plan is executed to perfection. Last night, the sprint cycling track team - who hadn’t won a medal since London 2012 - came out and won the gold medal. Nobody really expected this, but they did it.

In the NHS there are too many plans that do not focus on the big prize (Olympic final). The five-year forward view, whether you agree with it or not, is the Olympics. 2020/21 is the target date for putting the NHS finances back into balance, and yet we are totally focused on the short-term. The NHS position - unless something happens that we don’t expect - will get a little more difficult before it gets to its ultimate goal. The athletes on the NHS team need time and breathing space to put the training plan in place to win the Olympic gold in 2020/21. Unfortunately, these players are also required to deliver the here and now, some of which cannot be delivered until later on in the training cycle towards 2020/21. We need to find a way of creating the space to deliver the ultimate goals. Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) may be the answer, but only if they are the focus of delivery and are not battling for space and time against the pressure to deliver in-year plans.

Latest News

There’s enough to go ...

People aged over 65 are being urged to book their flu jab and enjoy the benefits of a flu-free winter. There are no shortages and everyone who requires one can get one, with patients urged to ignore misleading ...

Read more

There’s no time to ...

People with a range of “long term conditions” (LTCs) are being urged not to put off having the flu jab and get themselves protected. There are a wide range of LTCs, but they include heart disease, diabetes, ...

Read more

Patients with long-term heart failure ...

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has received £1.2m of new NHS funding to utilise innovative digital technologies and treatments that could lead to thousands of fewer hospital admissions nationally. The area is one of seven locations nationwide to become part of...

Read more

Staffordshire student Tilly settling into ...

Staffordshire student Tilly Griffiths is settling into academic life over 5,000 miles from home. Tilly, 18, is one of only a handful of UK students selected to study at the prestigious Stanford University near San Francisco.

Read more

Postcards spell out why antibiotics ...

Some patients will soon be coming away from appointments with their GP with something they weren’t expecting. A campaign is being launched aimed at letting patients know about the benefits and the limitations of antibiotics.

Read more

“Don’t get flu, get ...

GPs from around Staffordshire are urging patients in vulnerable groups to get flu-fit as winter approaches. Flu is unpleasant whoever you are. But for people in certain groups it is especially important to get immunised against flu as t...

Read more

We use cookies to improve your experience of using this website. how we use cookies