NHS Confederation welcomes Healthwatch’s focus on joined-up, patient-focused healthcare


adult care-care industry newsResponding to today’s ‘Safely Home’ report by independent consumer champion Healthwatch, the NHS Confederation has welcomed the report’s focus on individual patient experience and good system-wide healthcare coordination.


Phil McCarvill, deputy policy director of the NHS Confederation, said:


“Every patient has a story about their care and the vast majority are positive, but when it goes wrong it’s often because of gaps and boundaries which exist across the health and care system.


“Our members are already making progress in connecting different health services and delivering individualised, person-centred care, and will be keen to reflect on Healthwatch’s findings.


“The scale and complexity of the NHS can sometimes make the experience of care feel less tailored to individual’s needs. Delivering compassionate, dignified care must be the top priority of everyone who works in the NHS and change is needed wherever patients’ experience falls below that standard. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution so we need local leaders to continue working with key partners, such local authorities and the voluntary sector, to shape services and ensure the delivery of care in the right way, the right place and at the right time.


“The NHS Confederation will work closely with Healthwatch and other partners to develop this agenda.


“The NHS Confederation’s Commission On Improving Urgent Care For Older People is already working with partners across the health and care system to develop practical activities that help personalise care and connect services.


“Making services more joined-up is also helping to bring mental and physical care closer together, which is a priority as the NHS strives to improve its support and identification of poor mental health.”



  1. I sometimes wonder if “HealthWatch” should be renamed “HealthFailureWatch”. Sadly, it comes as no surprise that there is bad practice in hospital discharge. It fills me with dismay after reading the Francis Report and various Health Ombudsman reports that we still repeat basic errors of care and communication.

    Too often patients fall down the gaps between organisations. We know that handover is risky, but there is too little attention paid to organisation to organisation handover. Mind the gap! .

    As a front line practitioner in the community, I am no longer surprised that the system fails. This report teaches me nothing, but makes me feel bad.

    Would it not be possible to study positive deviance? For example: identify units that are positive outliers for low numbers of re admissions within 30 days of discharge, check that the metric is stable/reliable and visit these units to discover what they do well. Then find a strategy to share any pearls of good practice. That would be a report that might actually help. Or we could try to identify units that have moved from negative to positive deviance, and unlock the secret if their improvement

    Or we could simply rename HealthWatch HealthFailureWatch and continue to report, with much hand wringing, failures in our systems.


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