NHS Confederation and NHS Providers have established a new network to represent community services and improve links with other healthcare sectors.
The Community Network has been set up to be ‘an effective and influential voice for the community services sector’, and will develop cases for funding and investment to be made for community healthcare. The network will also strengthen links with primary and social care.
Chief executive of NHS Confederation Niall Dickson claimed that community services are vital if the NHS is to survive and reduce the demand for hospital care.
He said: ‘Community health services are a vital and often overlooked part of our healthcare system. Our new Community Network will be an effective, articulate and influential national voice for the sector. It will make sure that the potential of these services is understood and that both nationally and locally that this potential is realised for the millions of patients who rely on them every day.’
Chief executive of NHS Providers Chris Hopson claimed that community services had been ‘overlooked’ for too long.
He added: ‘This has to change and now is the time to put community health services and the prevention agenda at the heart of our health and care system.
‘Our new network will support community services and work with them to focus on key policy issues that enable the delivery of high quality community care.’