Beyond the NHS

Tackling the root causes of the nation's stagnating health

5 June 2019

With social causes including employment, education and crime explaining over 60% of the inequality in health outcomes seen between places, the evidence shows that inclusive growth and good health are intrinsically related. Whilst the welcome £20bn NHS top up last year was enough to plug a short-term funding gap in a stretched system, it won’t ensure lower long-term demand. Though the NHS’s Long-Term Plan sought to address this earlier this year, it didn’t go as far as addressing the levers over which the NHS currently has little to no control.

Against a backdrop of stalling life expectancy in England and an uneven distribution between socio-economic status and places, to radically improve health outcomes and the impact demand on the system, we must go back to the root causes of health. Considering alternative models of health delivery aided by the development of mechanism to ensure effective coordination between the multiple agencies involved is key to ensure good health for the UK population long term.

In May 2018 CPP embarked on its programme of research and engagement, guided by a high-level group of clinical and non-clinical professional advisors. The first report of the inquiry, ‘Diagnosis Critical’ was published in June, demonstrating the impact that fragmentation and financial pressures have put on the health and care services. In December 2018, CPP published ‘Beyond Sticking Plasters’, the interim report arguing that the national slowdown in health improvements are fundamentally driven by place-based health inequalities.

The final report, Beyond the NHS: Tackling the root causes of the nation’s stagnating health, marks the end of CPP’s year-long inquiry into the future of health and social care in England and sparks the beginning of a renewed focus on social determinants of health. CPP will be presenting key recommendations included in the report, followed by remarks from Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

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