This report from the NHS Confederation explores practical shifts towards population health and population health management approaches.
- A rising number of NHS organisations are combining traditional approaches – responding to illness where it occurs – with population health approaches that seek to better understand, target and prevent illness. Our evidence suggests that when these changes are possible, they bring benefits for systems and citizens.
- Understanding how these have developed could help address some of the key challenges of increasing health inequalities and efficient use of resources and, at scale, help health and social care systems to create a better balance between treating existing conditions to preventing illness.
- This report explores four case studies where population health and population health management approaches have been developed in recent years and show demonstrable benefits.
- These case studies, combined with discussions with health leaders involved in their development, reveal some of the key components involved in shifting towards population health and population health management approaches.
- By taking account of the full range of factors contributing to wellbeing and gathering data to understand how they affect populations, it is possible to design far more targeted interventions. These interventions typically involve the NHS developing strong and broad partnerships, working with a range of partners, including the likes of housing associations and the voluntary sector.
- This requires good data and shared understanding, which can greatly support an understanding of specific populations and segments of populations. The more information that can be brought together from across relevant sectors, the greater the insight that is typically possible.
- The interventions which result from population health approaches often differ quite significantly from traditional understandings of how the healthcare system should operate. They involve the NHS taking on different responsibilities or addressing existing responsibilities in very different ways. This means there is a need for new approaches to funding and governance and changing perceptions if such transformation is to truly flourish.
NHS Confederation: Transforming health and wellbeing services through population health management (27 November 2023) https://www.nhsconfed.org/publications/transforming-health-and-wellbeing-services-through-population-health-management
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