NHS priorities for 2022

Frances Cole

2022 v2

On Christmas eve NHS England published its 2022/23 priorities and operational planning guidance, highlighting its 10 priorities for the year ahead.

NHS priorities

  • Invest in our workforce
  • Respond to COVID-19 ever more effectively
  • Deliver significantly more elective care to tackle the elective backlog
  • Improve the responsiveness of urgent and emergency care (UEC) and build community care capacity
  • Improve timely access to primary care
  • Improve mental health services and services for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people
  • Continue to develop our approach to population health management, prevent ill-health and address health inequalities
  • Exploit the potential of digital technologies to transform the delivery of care and patient outcomes – achieving a core level of digitisation in every service across systems.
  • Make the most effective use of our resources – moving back to and beyond pre-pandemic levels of productivity when the context allows this.
  • Establish ICBs and collaborative system working

Tackle the elective backlog

You cannot avoid the subject of increasing waiting times within the NHS, therefore it is no surprise that tackling the elective backlog it is one of the priorities for the NHS. It is crucial for the NHS to continue to deliver elective care and ensure that the highest clinical priority patients are prioritised. It is also crucial to protect clinical time, and avoid unnecessary appointments, this is where digital technology can assist with patient initiated follow-up (PIFU).

The priority to tackle the elective backlog also aims to maximise elective activity, taking full advantage of opportunities to transform the delivery of services. including the importance to deliver improvements in maternity care. Making maternity and neonatal care safer, more personalised and more equitable, which includes offering ever woman a personalised care and support plan in line with the Personalised care a support planning guidance.

The potential of digital technologies

The priorities clearly highlight the need for the NHS and its suppliers to work together and to support one another. The pandemic has clearly shown that when people collaborate, results are achieved and this was evident with digital technology, which transformed the delivery of care.

“We will support health and care systems to ‘level-up’ their digital maturity, and ensure they have a core level of infrastructure, digitisation and skills.”

2022/2023 priorities and operational planning guidance, NHS England

Digital technology within healthcare is a key enabler of delivering better outcomes for patients, better experience for staff and more effective population health management. Not only does digital healthcare support patients and staff but it also supports the NHS Net Zero Agenda.

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