“Addressing health inequalities and improving efficiency to build a better future workforce”
Medicine has moved towards specialisation, with hospital teams focussing on a single disease or organ system. A quarter of adults live with two or more long-term conditions and medical training needs to support doctors to manage our aging and multi-morbid population. The NHS Long Term Plan proposes to accelerate the shift from a dominance of highly specialised roles to a better balance with more generalist ones.
There is a significant 18-year gap in healthy life expectancy across the UK. There is a substantial link between long term conditions and health inequalities. People in the most deprived fifth of the population reach the same level of illness a decade earlier compared to the least deprived fifth. The future doctor programme requires doctors to have generalist skills and an understanding of social determinates of health to reduce these inequalities.
The doctors in training by our innovative IMT pathway will gain enhancing generalist skills to improve care of the whole patient. The doctor will have a broad understanding of population health and advocacy skills in addition to clinical knowledge. Clinical experience will inform policy changes to reduce health inequalities. The holistically trained doctors will have a vital role in joining up primary and secondary care to improve efficiency between hospitals and their communities. These doctors will aim to address health and social inequalities, reduce the need for specialist referral and enable timely discharges while maintaining a patient-centred focus.