Our challenges

Healthier People  
We want to improve the health and life expectancy of our population through prevention initiatives and support for people to take care of themselves and their loved ones.  

Better Out of Hospital Care  
We want to create services in local communities that mean people only go into hospital when it is absolutely necessary and do not stay longer than they need to.  
Better In Hospital Care  
We want to create more efficient hospital-based services for those who need them, making the best use of the resources and workforce across the system to plan and deliver hospital-based services.  

Better Mental Health Care
We want to ensure that mental health is seen to be equally important as physical health and that the services we offer promote the best mental health for our local population.  

Better Cancer Care
We want to help more people to survive cancer and support people in our region to live well with and beyond cancer.

Balancing the Books  
We want to make the most of every penny available to deliver good quality local services within the funding available.

Our challenges Health and wellbeing

Men who live in the most affluent parts of our region can expect to live up to 20 years longer than those living in the most deprived areas and for women the gap is nearly as big at 17 years. Mortality rates in our area are higher than the national average. Factors that contribute to poor health, such as smoking, alcohol abuse and obesity, are also a significant problem for our population with rates higher than the national average.   23% of our population live in areas that are categorised as the most deprived areas of England. Nearly 9% of the population is over 75 and this older population is growing year on year. These challenges need new and different solutions if we are to help our local people start well, live well and age well.
Quality of care

We also face challenges in providing good quality care for everyone who needs it across the area. There are too many people who are not able to access the help and support they need when and where they need it and too many people are presenting at hospital in a crisis because alternative support was unavailable to them. At any one time we estimate that between a quarter and a half of hospital beds across the region are used by people who do not need to be there, often because the support they need to go home is not available.   Around 40% of A&E patients require no treatment and around a quarter of those who visited their GP could have had their issue resolved another way. At the same time there is increasing pressure on those services to respond to growing demand. We need new and different solutions to these challenges.

The amount of money that we have to spend locally on health and social care services is rising but demand for those services is also rising. If we continue to deliver health and care services in the same way as we do now and try to meet expected future demand for those services there is likely to be a gap in the budget required of nearly half a billion pounds.   These calculations are based on us delivering all the same services in the same way as we deliver them now and not making any changes or innovations. Therefore, it is crucial that we think about how to meet the health needs of our population in different ways so that we can make the most of every penny available to us.  

Our resource constraints are not just about money. We also have long-standing difficulties finding and keeping the qualified workforce that we need. We know we need new solutions to our workforce challenges, which is why we are working together with a wide range of partners to develop the workforce of the future.