NHS at 75 Insights Report
July 5 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the NHS, and we have published our report on this date to mark this important anniversary. It is important that we mark and celebrate all that has been achieved over the last 75 years and look forward to the future.
In May 2023, National Voices brought together around 50 members and people with lived experience in response to an invitation from the NHS Assembly to offer insights and recommendations on future directions for the NHS in the lead up to its 75th anniversary.
Insights were sought around five key themes, and discussions were informed by an overview from existing evidence prepared by Healthwatch England.
The themes were:
- Primary and community care
Our report found that any future developments within the NHS must focus on responding to what matters to people and ensuring that the basic building blocks are in place, such as equity of access and simple communication.
We were delighted that many of our recommendations were reflected in the final report from NHS Assembly. This shows the importance NHS leadership has placed on listening to our members and those with lived experience.
Three key needs were highlighted:
- The NHS must improve how it communicates with people about their access options, treatment and ongoing care – we heard that too often communication with the NHS is one-way, and that people do not feel listened to. We also heard of significant failures to meet additional communication needs.
- Work to build relationships with people and communities – we heard that too often the NHS asks people to engage on its terms, rather than meeting people where they are and working to establish trust. Good work happened during the pandemic to establish more trusting relationships with communities, often through trusted intermediaries, but progress since has faltered here.
- Focus on what matters to people - we heard that people wanted the NHS to listen to their priorities rather than pursuing targets set by the system or imposing its own ideas or systems on people’s lives. People understand that the NHS is under pressure, and they know that there will sometimes be limits to what can be done, but too often they feel they have to fight to get the care they want and are too often left to pick up the pieces of a fragmented system.
This report summarises key insights under each theme and offers a set of recommendations for future action to ensure the NHS can continue to deliver in line with its core values.
Do feel free to share this report widely and we would welcome any reflections on our findings. Please email us: email@example.com,uk with any reflections, or if you would like the report in a different format.