Diabetes UK is one of ten of the country’s leading health charities that have joined forces to call on the NHS to spend its money on health services in a more focused and patient-centred way.
The charities argue that too much money is wasted by focusing on short-term savings rather than long-term planning. They also contend that, if the NHS is to keep track with the country’s health needs, it needs to redefine value for money and patient care.
Better co-ordination and self-management
Together the charities have created a report which identifies five key areas for improvement which highlight the need for better co-ordination and a greater emphasis on self-management.
One evaluation featured in the report found that specialist heart nurses reduce all-cause admissions by an average of 35 per cent, and create an average saving of £1,826 per patient, even after taking out the cost of the nurse.
The NHS can save money by focusing on the individual
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said, "If we truly want to put the patient at the heart of the healthcare system and make the future affordable, we need to change things now. The NHS cannot keep treating the illness as separate to treating the person as a whole.
"More co-ordinated care is better for the patient, better for the NHS, better for the taxpayer. Focusing on the individual can save money if it prevents the patient from being unnecessarily dependent on the NHS."
Higher-quality, more cost-effective systems of care
Gavin Terry, Diabetes UK Policy Manager, said, "This has been an excellent opportunity to highlight how we think the future of care should be shaped for people with diabetes and other long-term conditions. Working together, we have focused on the principles that are shared across all long-term conditions.
"Our joint input to the report has shown that is possible to provide higher-quality, more cost-effective systems of care that truly put people at the heart of the care that they receive."