Understanding the growing role of the NHS in economic and social development
While the role of health in economic and social development has traditionally been peripheral at best, one consequence of the pandemic is that it will likely form a more vital and explicit part of national and local rebuilding. In many different parts of the country, and in many different ways, health is now being seen as the ‘new wealth.’
The growing importance of the role of the NHS in this agenda, and its potential to unlock wider impact, was echoed by the inclusion of supporting broader social and economic development as one of the four key principles of an integrated care system (ICS), outlined by NHS England and NHS Improvement in November 2020. As a principle it is perhaps the least well defined and understood in traditional NHS management and strategy terms, yet it is in many ways the true test of how an ICS is coming together for the population it serves. With it comes significant opportunity but also heightened responsibility and expectation.
The NHS Confederation has for several years played a leading role in supporting the NHS to understand and maximise its role in broader social and economic development - curating the NHS as an anchor concept and co-developing local anchor networks and strategy across the country. NHS England and NHS Improvement and the NHS Confederation are now working together to help shape and define this fourth principle - supporting systems to define locally what good looks like and understand the art of the possible in terms of making a difference to local economic and social development.
This session will talk through some of the early learning from a range of systems and present an opportunity to test out the first tentative steps an ICS can take to realise this principle. There has never been a stronger case for change.