The image is all on a dark blue background. In the middle of the image is the text: What patients want: a vision for the NHS in 2030 - Healthwatch England. At the top left, separated from the rest of the image by a green curved line, Are the words #PatientVision2030. To the bottom right of the image is the Healthwatch Surrey logo with a curve in pink above it.

Healthwatch England – Future of the NHS #PatientVision2030

10th March 2024

If you had a crystal ball and could look in to the future, what would you really want to see there? An end to global conflict? Climate change under control? A revitalised NHS?

Healthwatch England have been considering this too and a new report, What patients want: a vision for the NHS in 2030 builds on 2 national polls conducted at the start of 2024 and patient experiences collected over the past decade. The report aims to shift focus from the needs of the health system to the needs of the 56.5 million people living in England who rely on the NHS throughout their lives.

Did you know that the infant mortality rate for black children is twice as high as it is for white children?[i] And that people with learning disabilities die on average almost 2 decades earlier than those without them?[ii] Equally as concerning, in a survey by Healthwatch England, over a quarter (28%) of people with hearing, sight or learning disabilities said they had been refused help when requesting accessible information from the NHS.[iii]

That’s why we’re pleased to see that tackling health inequalities (removing barriers and improving outcomes) is one of 3 key priorities identified in the Healthwatch England report. This is in addition to making the NHS easier to access and navigate (getting the basics right!) and building a patient centred culture focussed on listening to patients.

The priorities at Healthwatch England reflect our own here at Healthwatch Surrey. We know that it is only by listening to people that we can really identify where things are going right (and wrong) and where improvements can and should be made. That’s why the involvement of people is a key strategic priority for us too. We’re committed to being a champion for local people – to ensuring that those using health and social care services in Surrey are listened to and their views fed back to relevant parts of the system.

Together we can improve health and care, but we can only make a difference if we know about your experience. So please contact us.

News article references:

[i] Office for National Statistics, ‘Child and infant mortality in England and Wales, 2021’, March 2023.

[ii] Jacqui Thornton, ‘People with learning disabilities have lower life expectancy and cancer screening rates’, BMJ 364 (January 2019).

[iii] Healthwatch England, ‘Our policy position on accessible information’, 10 July 2023.