Guest article: Prevention, early access and health inequalities – Redefining place-based care
Reflecting on how technology impacts prevention, early access, and health inequalities, Gavin Bashar, Managing Director at Tunstall Healthcare, discusses the importance of redefining place-based care.
If we are to redefine care and achieve preventative services that reduce health inequalities, it’s important to approach our services both holistically and through targeted resolutions to specific areas of care provision. We need to use technology to redefine place-based care.
Redefining place-based care
Place-based care has the potential to deliver multiple opportunities. In order to capitalise on those that are presented, we must first define ‘the place’ and what this means to people both providing and accessing care services.
When defining place-based care it’s important to consider the different demographic regions across the UK. There are disparities in the health and wellness of communities with different population characteristics, and we should take into account differences in access to technology, health and wellbeing, and life expectancy.
By starting with place-based care we can approach issues around prevention and proactivity and the tailoring of care. This, in turn, will help care providers to combat health inequalities and improve access to health, social care and housing.
The implementation of ICSs
It is hoped that integrated care systems (ICSs) will drive real system change that removes silos that are currently placing barriers on delivering the most effective services.
Considering single accountability and each step of an individual’s care journey will empower us to support ICSs in their role. This will be further supported by real collaboration and integration across the system. If we address issues and demand earlier, budgets and funding streams can be allocated to the specific areas that need them.
The role of tech
Technology’s role as an enabler can move the prevention agenda forward, however, it is only valuable if it drives sustainable system change. In order to integrate technology effectively, we must bring the right skill sets into our services to ensure they can deploy digital solutions successfully.
Technology can have significant benefits for citizens, particularly in terms of using data to provide intelligent insight to inform more personalised and preventative care. We should see the ongoing progress that’s been made around data privacy continue, particularly as future generations are now growing up in a digital landscape. This will lead to citizens being more comfortable with health and care technology and having a better understanding of how they can be empowered to play a more active role in their own wellbeing.