The Partnership of Purpose represents a major overhaul of how islanders will look after their health and wellbeing and access the care they need going forward. It was instigated by a 2017 Policy Letter to the States of Deliberation which recognised that our current health and social care model will not cope with future demand, largely due to our ageing population.
In many cases, services need to be brought up to acceptable modern standards, with the essential upgrades to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital perhaps being the most obvious. But our health and social care services extend so far beyond the hospital, and the overall objective of the whole system is to keep people as healthy as possible and out of hospital. This means that ensuring all the non-acute community-based health and social care services are equally fit-for-purpose and easy to find is just as important.
So simply put, The Partnership of Purpose is about making our health and social care provision as efficient as possible. It's about empowering people to lead healthier and happier lives while knowing how to access to the right care when they need it.
It's a collective effort, calling on the public, private and third sectors, to work collaboratively to future-proof health and social care services. The States of Guernsey is taking the lead in facilitating this change.
Why does health and social care provision need to change?
- Life expectancy is going up, which means if people keep accessing healthcare in the same way they'll need more of it throughout their lives and the system won't be able to cope with demand.
- So the whole way we access health and social care needs to change. On the one hand, the services that the public, private and third sectors offer need to adapt. But equally importantly, individuals need to be encouraged and supported to be more proactive in leading healthier lives.
- What do we mean by this? Think of it in the sense that some elements of our health are within our control - perhaps our general fitness or nutrition - whereas unfortunately some elements of our health are outside our control - like the risk of unexpected illnesses or aspects of our menial health. We should all be responsible for keeping as healthy as possible, in terms of what is in our control, as this will help free up health and social services for where they are needed the most.
What can I do differently?
- An efficient healthcare system means people should always have access to the right care they need. If you need acute care there will be a hospital bed for you. If you need a GP appointment you should be able to book one promptly at a time that suits you. But it is in all our best interests to ensure we only call on these services when we genuinely need them. Adopting the right personal behaviours around health and wellbeing is key.
- A preventative mindset is a bit of a buzz phrase, but what does that mean?
- In one sense this might mean acting on any ailments swiftly. Prompt diagnosis will often lead to quicker and simpler treatment or cure. Better for the individual and less impact on the system.
- A preventative mindset also means avoiding the risk of health complications in the first place, perhaps though better diet, exercise and general wellbeing. Some people will need a little helping hand to make those lifestyle choices. That might come from knowing the right charity to call on or self help route to go down, rather than a GP always being the first port of call. Every little behavioural change like this will help make health and social care provision more efficient. It's all about ensuring resources are targeted in the right way.
A community-wide effort
- The Partnership of Purpose is all about keeping everyone healthier longer, while also providing easy access to the right care when people need it. That is the purpose, and a community wide effort will make it happen.
Navigate these pages to find out how the States-led initiatives are progressing, alongside some successes in our partner organisations.