The future will bring more clarity to the impications of NHS finance in the current political scenario, writes Sharon Lamb

On the day of the EU referendum, Capsticks and HSJ hosted a debate to look at the financial challenges facing the health service and the areas where NHS providers should focus their main efforts.

Capsticks

Capsticks

In the short time that has passed since the roundtable, the UK political and financial landscape has changed beyond recognition.

At this stage, the implications for the NHS and NHS funding remain very unclear. On the one hand, the decision by the chancellor to depart from previous austerity plans to achieve a budget surplus by the end of the decade may be good news for NHS funding.

On the other hand, the costs and financial implications of negotiating a settlement and on aiding other national priorities may affect the funding for public services.

One consistent theme, raised by all chief executives, was the importance of engaging and motivating staff to lead and deliver change

At this stage, it is only uncertainty that is certain and hopefully the coming months will bring calm and clarity as to the implications for NHS services.

What is likely to be certain is that the priorities identified at the roundtable will remain of increasing importance.

The top three priorities that emerged were:

  • Leading and incentivising workforce to deliver productive services and efficiency plans
  • Reconfiguring clinical services and ensuring care is delivered in the most appropriate setting
  • Working efficiently across and between providers and streamlining transaction costs across the NHS.

All of these will likely remain top priorities, no matter the long term implications of a new relationship with the EU.

In the meanwhile, NHS providers have also been asked to focus on the savings and efficiencies that can be found from working jointly across health economies, especially from back office and pathology services and there are fresh initiatives to control agency and other costs.

One consistent theme, raised by all chief executives, was the importance of engaging and motivating staff to lead and deliver change. Given the challenging times ahead, this will continue to be of paramount importance for all healthcare leaders.

Capsticks has great pleasure in supporting the HSJ’s 2016 top chief executives and in celebrating leadership across the health service.

Sharon Lamb is a partner at Capsticks