NHS England priorities for 2022/3

NHS ENgland has set priorities for 2022/3 in a planning guidance document issued on Christmas eve .

The 10 priorities are as follows:

  1. Invest in our workforce – with more people (for example, the additional roles in primary care, expansion of mental health and community services, and tackling substantive gaps in acute care) and new ways of working, and by strengthening the compassionate and inclusive culture needed to deliver outstanding care.
  2. Respond to COVID-19 ever more effectively – delivering the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme and meeting the needs of patients with COVID-19.
  3. Deliver significantly more elective care to tackle the elective backlog, reduce long waits and improve performance against cancer waiting times standards.
  4. Improve the responsiveness of urgent and emergency care (UEC) and build community care capacity– keeping patients safe and offering the right care, at the right time, in the right setting. This needs to be supported by creating the equivalent of 5,000 additional beds, in particular through expansion of virtual ward models, and includes eliminating 12-hour waits in emergency departments (EDs) and minimising ambulance handover delays.
  5. Improve timely access to primary care – maximising the impact of the investment in primary medical care and primary care networks (PCNs) to expand capacity, increase the number of appointments available and drive integrated working at neighbourhood and place level.
  6. Improve mental health services and services for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people – maintaining continued growth in mental health investment to transform and expand community health services and improve access.
  7. Continue to develop our approach to population health management, prevent ill-health and address health inequalities – using data and analytics to redesign care pathways and measure outcomes with a focus on improving access and health equity for under-served communities.
  8. 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.
  9. Make the most effective use of our resources – moving back to and beyond pre-pandemic levels of productivity when the context allows this.
  10. Establish ICBs and collaborative system working – working together with local
    authorities and other partners across their ICS to develop a five-year strategic
    plan for their system and places.