Expanding community services does not simply mean moving care out of hospital – it means developing a whole new way of caring.
"This is not a like-for-like shift," says Nick Goodwin, senior research fellow at the King's Fund. "We're not taking current activities in hospital and placing them into the community. We're creating a capability in the community [to remove some of the demand for] a range of different activities in hospital."
Goodwin predicts that groups of general practices will increasingly work in federations or networks. He sees a "fairly limited" role for the private sector but a significant increase in not-for-profit partnerships with the public sector. Goodwin believes telehealth, whereby health-related services are delivered over the internet, will be "as common as internet banking and hole in the wall cash machines".
Numerous examples exist of diagnostic tests and procedures being moved to the community. NHS Suffolk has transferred echocardiography (which uses ultrasound to investigate the heart), while Cambridgeshire has moved sexual health, musculoskeletal services and minor oral surgery out of hospital.Sphere: Related Content