The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) makes the case that the NHS will need to work together with partners across the local health and care system, local government, and community organisations to achieve maximum impact in preventing disease and improving population health. It states the ambition to have Integrated Care Systems across England by 2021 with the explicit role to improve health at a population level. Crucially, funding for these organisations will move from activity based payments to population based funding.
Integrated care systems will be supported in this role by a digital strategy encouraging better use of population level data through population management tools.
The LTP highlights the important potential role NHS organisations can play in their local communities, both as anchor institutions –fixed community assets impacting local employment, business, planning policy, and air pollution – and by acting independently and in partnership to re-orientate services towards prevention.
Achieving the prevention vision and deliver the LTP whilst growth in UK healthy life expectancy is stalling – and inequalities are widening – will require NHS trusts to work with their local health systems and take bold steps to prevent disease and improve population health.,
For Example., Prevention is a stated strategic priority for the Shelford Group of NHS hospital trusts.
References: Hospitals as anchor institutions: how the NHS can act beyond healthcare to support communities. BMJ 2018;361:k2101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2101  Health state life expectancies, UK: 2015 to 2017 accessed at; https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/healthstatelifeexpectanciesuk/2015to2017  Webber L, Chalkidou K, Morrow S, Ferguson B, McPherson K. What are the best societal investments for improving people’s health? BMJ. 2018 Aug 30;362:k3377. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3377  Shelford Group; Working Together To Improve Patient And Population Health Outcomes. May 2019.