With exactly one year until the 2015 general election, we challenged political parties to explicitly accept seven 'burning issues' facing the health and care system, and to produce election manifestos that allow the NHS and social care the space to be able to address them.
These burning issues were set out in the 2015 Challenge Declaration , published in collaboration with a national-level partnership representing patient groups, clinicians, staff, senior leaders and councillors.
The 2015 Challenge Declaration calls on current and future politicians and decision-makers to be honest with the public, staff and media about the challenges facing the health and care system, and what needs to be done to solve these challenges, so the system remains fit for purpose.
- The need challenge – meeting the rising demand for care, particularly from people with complex needs or long-term conditions, while maintaining people’s wellbeing and preventing ill health for as long as possible.
- The culture challenge – building confidence in the health service by achieving a fundamental shift in culture from the bottom up. Creating a more open and transparent NHS, which enables patients, citizens and communities to be partners in decisions, and staff to improve care.
- The design challenge – redesigning the health and care system to reflect the needs of people now – and so that it remains sustainable in the future. Shifting more care closer to people’s homes, while maintaining great hospital care. A focus on joining up all parts of the health and care system so care revolves around the needs and capacities of individuals, families and communities.
- The finance challenge – recognising the financial pressures on all parts of the system and squeezing value from every penny of public money spent on health and care. Debating honestly and openly the future levels and sources of funding for health and social care.
- The leadership challenge – creating value-based, system leaders across the NHS and empowering them to improve health and wellbeing for local people. Supporting these local leaders to work in partnership with a wide range of health, care and related organisations to address the 2015 Challenge, involve patients and citizens as leaders, and have the resilience to make the biggest changes in the recent history or health and care.
- The workforce challenge – planning for a workforce to better match changing demand. Developing staff roles and skills to provide complex, multidisciplinary, coordinated care, in partnership with individuals and communities and more often in community settings.
- The technology challenge – using technology to help transform care and enabling people to access information and treatment in a way that meets their needs. Spreading innovation to improve the quality of care while responding to the financial challenge facing the NHS and care system.
The 2015 Challenge Declaration was followed by publication of the 2015 Challenge Manifesto in September 2014. The manifesto is our route map to the future health and care system. It is a demand for action and puts forward the shared ‘asks’ of politicians and policymakers that are essential to achieve the vision.