Department of Health and Social Care’s objectives

January 30, 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care has published its single departmental plan setting out its objectives and how it will achieve them.

Following the Department of Health becoming the Department of Health and Social Careit has now set out its objectives as a single department, the ministers responsible and how it aims to achieve those objectives.

It states that, 'We are committed to ensuring that the health and care system puts patient safety and quality at the heart of everything it does: not just through high quality, safe and sustainable hospital care, but also by:

  • keeping people healthy for as long as possible;
  • transforming out of hospital care to keep people living better in the community for longer;
  • supporting the outstanding work of the 1.3 million staff whilst training the workforce of tomorrow;
  • staying at the cutting edge of medicine;
  • ensuring that the health and care system remains accountable – getting the most out of every taxpayer pound spent.

'In doing all this, we must also work closely with our partners in the health and care system, our arm’s length bodies and agencies, local authorities, across government, and with both patients and the public, ensuring that we are all working with one focus – the people who use our services.'

The five specific objectives are:

  1. Keep people healthy and support sustainable public services.
  2. Transform out of hospital care to keep people living healthier for longer in their community.
  3. Support the NHS to deliver high-quality, safe and sustainable hospital care and secure the right workforce.
  4. Research and innovate to maximise health and economic productivity.
  5. Ensure accountability of the health and care system to Parliament and the taxpayer; and create an efficient an effective Department of Health.

Sustainable social care

Objective 2.3 is to enable ​a ​sustainable​ ​adult​ ​social​ ​care​ ​system that​ ​meets​ ​people’s​ ​needs​ ​and​ ​prevents​ ​health​ ​and​ ​care​ ​needs from​ ​escalating. The Department intends to achieve this by:

  • Implementing the Dementia 2020 challenge.
  • Supporting improved outcomes through better joint-working at the interface between health and social care through the Better Care Fund, greater transparency and performance oversight and better metrics.
  • Developing a Green Paper which will set out proposals to reform care and support for older people.
  • Ensuring a sustainable social care provider sector.

It also includes the objective to transform​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​technology,​ ​digital​ ​services​ ​and​ ​data​ ​to improve​ ​health​ ​and​ ​social​ ​care. It aims to achieve this through enabling data sharing and transparency across health and social care and to support cross-government priorities – including through building public trust in and awareness of the benefits of data-sharing and introducing a national opt out (for data shared beyond direct care).

Regarding workforce, it intends to secure ​the​ ​staff​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​deliver​ ​affordable​ ​high​-​quality health​ ​and​ ​social​ ​care. The Department will work with national NHS and social care bodies to agree a health and care workforce strategy by July 2018.

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