The Fabian Society has published a report entitled “Local and National – How the Public Wants the NHS to be Both”. The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest political think tank. Founded in 1884, the Society is at the forefront of developing political ideas and public policy on the left.
In his foreword for the report, Jon Ashworth is MP for Leicester South and shadow health secretary, describes how some of the key questions involve health and social care and whether one can be maintained in isolation from the other. He mentions the how the sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) which are currently being drawn up across England have shown that health and social care leaders are prepared to be ambitious in redrawing services across sectors and across geographical boundaries, but that the scale of change being proposed is not currently being matched by funding from national government. He also stresses that if STP plans are merely about filling financial holes in government spending, then they will be less likely to be supported by patients.
The report also highlights interesting results from opinion polls with 46% of people believing that services would be better if healthcare was managed locally, compared to only 18 per cent who think that healthcare is best when controlled nationally.