The Queen’s speech 2021

The Queen’s speech at The State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday 11th May highlighted the government’s priorities for the months ahead.

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, Chris Graham, CEO of Picker said:

The Queen’s speech included a number of well-trailed announcements around health policy, notably including new measures around the development of integrated care systems and reform of the Mental Health Act as well as plans to tackle the growing backlog in elective care post-pandemic. These announcements are welcome and should support more collaborative working between health and care organisations. Picker is already working on a number of projects to support new Integrated Care Systems in understanding, measuring, and improving people’s experiences of integrated care, and we look forward to publishing these in due course.

For the Government’s plans to succeed, it is vital that health services and their workforces are supported. The 2020 NHS Staff Survey, coordinated by Picker for NHS England, showed the impact of the pandemic: as we reported earlier this year, the pandemic has placed a heavy burden on healthcare staff, with almost half of all front-line staff reporting work-related stress. Staff need to be supported with measures to improve wellbeing and reduce burnout – and this must include a commitment to tackling shortages in key staff groups.

The announcements included little detail on plans for social care, and this is an area that requires greater attention. Integrated care systems cannot succeed without improvements in the social care system, and it is important that that social care services are supported to enable rounded person centred care for all.

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