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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Miller

Intergenerational Connectivity and Shifting Focus in England's Health and Care System

The following article is a direct response from Charlotte Miller, co-founder of Intergenerational England, to Kings Fund "Making care closer to home a reality: refocusing the system to primary and community care."

Intergenerational connectivity in the context of England's health and care system is crucial for ensuring sustainable and effective services. Currently, there is a pressing need to transition the focus away from hospitals and towards primary and community services. This shift requires a comprehensive reorientation of policies, strategies, and investments, as outlined in the report.

To foster intergenerational connectivity within the health and care system, several key approaches can be implemented:

1. Clear Communication and Vision: Leaders must articulate the necessity of this shift, emphasising its role in delivering improved care, outcomes, and long-term sustainability. This messaging should transcend generations, ensuring that younger and older stakeholders alike understand the rationale behind the changes.

2. Alignment of Policies and Investments: All policies and investments should align with the vision of prioritising primary and community health and care services. This alignment ensures that resources are directed towards initiatives that promote intergenerational well-being and support.

3. Long-Term Commitment: Maintaining the vision over the long term is essential. Intergenerational connectivity thrives when there is consistency and dedication to shared goals. This sustained commitment is vital for fostering trust and collaboration across generations.

4. Differential Funding Growth: Recognising the diverse needs of different generations, funding growth should be distributed accordingly. Prioritising primary and community services ensures that resources are allocated where they are most needed, promoting intergenerational equity in access to care.

5. Equipping the Workforce: Training programs should focus on equipping practitioners and managers with the skills needed to deliver care in community settings. This includes promoting multidisciplinary teamwork and emphasising the importance of primary and community-based care in addressing complex health needs across generations.

6. Local Empowerment: Devolving responsibility to local areas enables the health and care system to respond effectively to the unique needs of diverse communities. By empowering local stakeholders, including younger and older generations, decision-making becomes more inclusive and responsive to intergenerational concerns.

7. Integrated Care Boards (ICBs): ICBs play a pivotal role in driving change towards a community-focused health and care system. Holding them accountable for the growth of primary and community services reinforces the importance of intergenerational connectivity in achieving broader health outcomes.

In summary, promoting intergenerational connectivity within England's health and care system requires a concerted effort to shift focus towards primary and community services. By aligning policies, investments, and workforce training with this vision, stakeholders can create a more sustainable and inclusive system that meets the needs of all generations.


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