2017 promises to be another challenging year for the health and care system, with demand increasing faster than the supply of resources.

A system already stretched to its limits will have to work even harder to maintain current standards of care and to balance budgets. This requires a continuing focus on operational performance and renewed efforts to transform the delivery of care at a time when frontline staff are working under intense pressure.

The NHS five year forward view (Forward View) will be tested to its limits as leaders work to improve performance and transform care. The NHS locally has to deliver £15 billion of the £22 billion efficiency improvements required under the Forward View, with the remaining £7 billion to be delivered nationally. It also has to provide evidence that new care models are delivering benefits. Failure to do so will raise serious questions about the assumptions on which the Forward View was based and on the ability of leaders to deliver their plans.

Against this background, The Kings Fund have identified five main priorities for 2017.

  • Supporting new care models centred on the needs of patients
  • Strengthening and implementing sustainability and transformation plans
  • Improving productivity and delivering better value
  • Developing and strengthening leadership at all levels
  • Securing adequate funding for health and social care

Read more about the detail of each priority here