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Vision 2013: Make a wish for 2013 - PharmaTimes March 2013

2012 was a tough year for both those working in, and with, the NHS. There will be many that are breathing a sigh of relief that the reform is only weeks away from being in place, and others who are taking a deep breath as we enter, what promises to be, a new era of health and social care in England.

In a recent OnMedica survey we asked our GP community to ‘Make a wish for 2013'. The majority concurred that they were glad to see the back of 2012 and some expressed concerns that 2013 was still going to be an arduous 12 months for GPs as they take on the additional responsibility of commissioning. But whilst there were whisperings of some wanting to prevent changes to the GP contract or looking for a positive resolution to the doctors' pension dispute, the overwhelming wish for 2013 from GPs was to create a more stable NHS for all of those who rely on it.

For those that work with the NHS, whether in pharmaceuticals, medical devices or healthcare services, stability throughout 2013 is the key. We have a new procurement strategy, from the Department of Health, due for publication in the first half of the year, which promises ‘innovative procurement processes and more widespread procurement of innovation'. All stakeholders are keen to see something put in place that will facilitate the real change required to make the NHS a commercially-viable marketplace, so we don't have to face the obstacles and frustrations of the past. We all know that the NHS has to ‘save money' in the next five to ten years but it needs to do this through efficiency-savings not cost-cutting activities, and most of this will come from working more effectively with suppliers and service providers. QIPP and the guidelines ‘Raising your Game' published in 2012 have helped provide some direction but what is essential now is a new strategy that provides focus and support so that the NHS and its suppliers can work together effectively in the new structure and financial climate.

The move to a clinically-led commissioning model, set to revolutionise the health and social care market, will take effect in April. It is predicted to turn NHS commissioning on its head for both the NHS and its suppliers but like it or loathe it, it is here to stay. SHAs and PCTs have been replaced with a number of new organisations including the NHS Commissioning Board, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), commissioning support units (CSUs), clinical senates and clinical networks. All are involved in delivering a successful new commissioning model. The future of clinical commissioning is reliant on everyone working together for a common purpose … to improve patient care. As a result we are likely to see a focus on health prevention as well as healthcare, as the NHS works closer with local government to tackle the growing demand on patient care. The homecare market is set to grow as some patient care and management of conditions moves from a primary or secondary care setting to the comfort and convenience of the home.

The NHS has already changed, and no doubt will continue to change as is its will, but from April 2013 we will have a more solid platform to work from, to work together and to ultimately improve patient care, and that can only be a good thing.

Press contact:
Marketing Department E: T: 01268 495600

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