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Unit 117 Regent House Business Centre, 291-307 Kirkdale, Sydenham. SE26 4QD

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Mam T Healthcare Services Limited - Your Health, Our concern

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I am delighted to be taking the helm at Healthcare UK, after 3 years of achievement under the leadership of my predecessor Howard Lyons. I’m taking over an organisation which is highly successful in it's mission to support UK organisations to win overseas contracts. With the year-end figures not yet finalised as I write, already the value of contracts signed since last April is almost £3.6bn, far exceeding the targets set when Healthcare UK was established back in 2013. I’m joining at a vital time, when our goals and objectives for the next 5 years are being developed in the context of the government’s 2020 target to support an additional 100,000 organisations to export and the aspiration to hit £1 trillion in exports. I’m looking forward to working with our Governance Board, all our colleagues in Post and the team in the UK to shape the next phase of Healthcare UK’s development to support more and more UK organisations – public and private – to win business overseas.

In the UK, nearly one in five people today are aged 65 or over. In places like Somerset, this number will be one in four within the next few years. Many older people live with chronic conditions, and, increasingly, with several of them. Our need to get to grips with the reality of our ageing population and understand how our systems best adjust has never been greater.This is why the Health Foundation and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity have supported the Richmond Group of Charities and New Philanthropy Capital to take a deep look into what happened when individuals and organisations came together to improve care for people with long-term conditions in Somerset. Their work focused on moving towards more integrated person-centred models of health and care, this time with the voluntary and community sector (VCS) taking the lead.Cross-sector collaborations in health and care services are not easy or new, but usually these initiatives are top-down and led by statutory services.The work in Somerset provides an important opportunity to understand, from practical experience, what role the largely untapped voluntary and community sector can and should play in building collaborations to transform health and care services.

Back in June 2017, I was privileged to accompany Sir Malcolm Grant, the chairman of NHS England, our new Managing Director Deborah Kobewka and 23 British organisations on a visit to India under the theme of “Smart Healthcare”. The delegation of leading NHS hospital trusts and pioneering British companies visited New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai in a week. Our goal when planning this mission was to make healthcare an area where PM Modi’s comment "India and the UK make an unbeatable combination" fully applies. We are certainly well on the way to this, judging by the interest generated both amongst potential business partners and the India media, who took the opportunity to interview Sir Malcolm on the goals for the mission, how the UK and India could collaborate for mutual benefit and what the NHS can offer.

For the first time in two decades our country is experiencing a sustained rise in the number of people struggling to make ends meet. Poverty has a harmful effect on many aspects of people’s lives, especially their physical and mental health. In the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s latest state of the nation report, UK Poverty 2017, we found that 14 million people are living in poverty – one in five of the population. Over half of these people are living in a working household, facing impossible choices on a daily basis, despite doing all that they can to achieve a decent and secure life for themselves and their families. This concerning rise in poverty is driven by stagnating earnings, the rising cost of housing and the freeze on working age benefits which are no longer effectively loosening the grip of poverty on people’s lives. What’s less well known is the damage this is doing to the health of the nation.

700,000 people around the world die annually from drug resistant infections, the World Health Organisation has estimated. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest global health challenges we are facing this century. The crisis can be slowed down, but it will take a major push from international healthcare organisations to delay the spread of antibiotic resistance. Countries such as Finland, Switzerland and Japan have launched creative public campaigns to raise awareness of the issue. In Finland, an innovative game has been launched to educate the public on the misuse of antibiotics and vaccines. Switzerland have created a memory game which is promoted to healthcare professionals and patients in waiting rooms to help educate both parties on the emerging issue. Here in the UK, a TV campaign has launched to urge patients to stop pressuring their GPs for antibiotics in order to prevent antibiotics from becoming in-effective. Keep Antibiotics Working, will warn people about the risks of taking antibiotics for minor illnesses and how this can cause serious medical complications if they develop more severe infections later in life. Approximately 5,000 people in England die each year due to antibiotic resistance and experts predict that this figure could exceed cancer fatalities within 30 years.

‘I just want to be able to live, you know, I don’t want to just survive.’ This extract, from a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, reflects the reality for one family trying to get by on a low income. One in five people in the UK are in poverty, without the resources to meet their minimum needs. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can certainly make life a lot easier. From the places we live, to the food we buy, and how we travel, money is often a factor. Our latest infographic looks at how poverty can influence health. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s UK Poverty 2017, shows that over half of people living in poverty are in working households and many are in vulnerable groups. Too often, work doesn’t pay enough or people fall into poverty through circumstances beyond their control. Poverty is, in part, about lacking basic material resources. People are struggling to put food on the table and a recent review by housing and homelessness charity Shelter found that one in every 200 people in the UK is homeless.

Today NHS England published Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View. Just as Next Steps looks to find ways that the NHS can improve the way it delivers care, we at the Health Foundation also grapple with how to ensure our grant-giving has a long term impact for patients. In this newsletter, we describe how, as well as developing people working in the health service, and funding improvement projects on the ground, we are increasingly aiming to build more sustainable assets – ones that can contribute to developing an infrastructure for continuous learning and improvement in the UK. The most visible example of this approach is our largest single grant to date, announced this week, which we will be making to the University of Cambridge to establish a new improvement research institute.

Over the past decade, the Health Foundation has invested over £160 million in supporting improvement in the quality of health care service delivery – through developing people, giving grants to teams to make improvements to care at the front line, and through building evidence about what works to improve health care. In 2018 we are planning to build on these investments to contribute further to the development of a health care system able to continually learn, adapt and improve. We support people to gain knowledge, skills and experience in improving patient care through our capability building work. The Health Foundation now has a thriving community of over 400 alumni from our individual programmes in leadership, quality improvement, improvement science, and policy. Our alumni lead improvement work across the UK; in their local teams, at executive level, in royal colleges and professional bodies, and at national level. Some have built their own quality improvement academies or consultancy organisations. These in turn introduce hundreds more patients and health care professionals to systematic approaches to improving care. Over time, our aim is that the cumulative impact of this investment is to create a flourishing community of people working in health care able to lead improvement.