NHS boss recognises critical role community services play in reimagining an NHS fit for the future

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard delivered a keynote speech at NHS Confed Expo in which she highlighted community health services, primary care and name checked “physio” as she argued we need a reimagining of the NHS through Community Health Services to meet population needs.

The CSP welcomes the focus of the speech on getting people, particularly those who are older, out of hospital. Physiotherapists and rehab services have a vital role to play in this. 

Amanda highlighted that NHS community health services are already delivering 300,000 patient contracts a day but set out NHS England must be more ambitious for community-based services. She argued for more single points of access that provide simple routes to get people the support they need. 

Community frailty services

She spoke specifically about community frailty services working proactively to help people most at risk of needing hospital care to stay well and that coordination needed to complement acute frailty services in A&E. 

But she argued that if we want community health services to work seamlessly with A&E departments the NHS needs to ensure that people with the right skills are deployed in the right way and that tech and data support best use of time. Pilot schemes play a key role showing us what works well, reducing health inequalities and helping us to reimagine the services of the future. 

Sara Hazzard, assistant director at the CSP and co-chair of the Community Rehab Alliance, said:

It’s heartening to hear recognition for the vital role community health services play delivered by the chief executive of the NHS.

The emphasis and ambition that Amanda Pritchard has laid out should give those of us working for a right to rehab for all a renewed sense of what is achievable.  

'I am all for reimagining if the results provide person-centre rehab for all who need it.’ 

The CSP is holding an event at NHS Confed Expo on rehab's role in delivering a healthy nation. Sara will be on the panel and has written about what needs to be addressed


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