PM Healthcare - Summer 2022

CHAIRMANS COMMENTS Now is the hour Author Ted Butler, Chairman of the Editorial Board, PM Healthcare Journal. Throughout time there have always been moments when a set of circumstances collude to create a change. Delivering healthcare in all countries of the world is demanding as populations grow older and the requirement for services reflects that situation. But add to that scenario a pandemic across the globe and all health systems show signs of being under ever-increasing pressure. Having contributed an outstanding performance in vaccination, all healthcare professionals (HCPs) are now experiencing another surge of patient needs as medical conditions that could not be treated during lockdown emerge in practices and hospitals. Most governments across the world will be reviewing the provision of services to support their communities, as the financial burden on the state created by Covid is like nothing seen before. What are the most appropriate medicines for conditions? Where should care be delivered? Who has which role in the new world? Nothing will be ‘off the table’. The actions of some HCPs during the pandemic have unquestionably raised their profile in relation to maximising their input to patient care. Of particular relevance are the many anecdotal stories that have been received of community pharmacies remaining open and providing patient advice whilst it became increasingly difficult to obtain a face-to- face appointment within general practices. In England we are seeing probably the biggest reorganisation of the NHS since its inception. The creation of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), with responsibility for budgets across primary and secondary care, will move the system into alignment with the health board approach that we have seen in the Celtic nations for many years. This massive change will challenge HCPs to communicate more effectively across the divide and will demand closer working between professionals who may not have had a working relationship together in the past. Communication skills and project management will undoubtedly top the list of skills required. That, however, is simplifying the number of elements for the new way of working that will face HCPs in the future. As well as increased demand on the service, we will now experience in England a major change of system working. Skills that are entrenched in the business world will rise to have a greater value for cooperation between the NHS and the commercial world. The Celtic nations should not be overlooked as challenges exist in maintaining service delivery as significant numbers of general practitioners decide to retire or leave the service. Much has been achieved in Scotland already by greater integration of community pharmacy into the delivery of patient care in health boards, and a new Community Pharmacy Contract in Wales is surely trail-blazing in its aims. It is it within this context that our new PM Healthcare Journal will seek to provide practical and timely support for NHS colleagues facing new ways of working and engaging with new colleagues. Make no mistake – the pandemic has opened Pandora’s Box for new ways of working and it is unlikely that there will be a return to the past in many aspects of service delivery. Where will care be delivered? Who or which professions will undertake which role in patient care? How will the funding-flow for services operate? These are some of the questions we will help answer. PM Healthcare Journal will be an integral part of our portfolio of support for HCPs through this period of change. Stay tuned to learn about our Conferences around the UK and our Management Skills Programmes which are designed specifically for NHS Healthcare Professionals. PM Healthcare Journal 3