Commissioners must be able to distinguish between the needs of the individual, and those of the wider community, to ensure equity of access. Needs assessment facilitates this by allowing commissioners to understand what the local or practice population need from care services to improve health and wellbeing, helping them to plan and provide local services. Since April 2008, stakeholders, such as local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, have been working together to produce joint strategic needs assessments, so that the most efficient practices can be implemented.
Alison Turner presents a new report from the NHS Confederation called ‘Growing old together: sharing new ways to support older people’, which has been produced by the independent Commission on Improving Urgent Care for Older People.[read the full story...]