Over the next five, ten and 20 years there are set to be huge challenges for healthcare services. With an aging population with longer life expectancy and an increase in long term conditions, demands will be put on an already pressurised health service. As Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group we are currently responsible for a population of 281,500 people and this is expected to increase by at least 8,100 over the next 20 years. This population growth and all the issues associated with it will have a dramatic effect on the shape and structure of future health services and we need to prepare for those challenges in order to ensure a cost effective and best resourced health service for our local population.
Working together we have identified the six main health challenges that will be facing Sunderland’s population now and in the future.
- A growing elderly population
- Separated healthcare
- Health inequalities across the city
- An over-reliance on hospital care
- Financial constraints
- Excess deaths from cancer and cardiovascular diseases
We have developed a commissioning plan to prioritise what needs to be done to improve health and wellbeing, guided by our vision of better-integrated health and social care, underpinned by effective clinical decision-making, ensuring better health for Sunderland.
Our top ten priorities to improve health, wellbeing and life expectancy in Sunderland over the next five years are to
- Tackle unemployment
- Improve educational attainment
- Reduce overall smoking prevalence (all ages) and numbers of young people starting to smoke
- Reduce levels of obesity
- Reduce overall alcohol consumption and increase treatment services for those with problem drinking
- Commission better services for cardiovascular disease including diabetes
- Commission better services for cancer
- Commission better services for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Commission better services for mental health problems
- Raise the expectation of being healthy for all individuals, families and communities and promote health-seeking behaviours
For more information on our vision, aims and priorities for the future please see our commissioning plan and our prospectus.