After the 2015 general election, the new government asked departments to set out their high-level objectives for 2020. The subsequent Shared delivery plan: 2015 to 2020, published in early 2016 by the Department of Health, described the government’s commitment to the NHS and social care over that period. It promised to invest £10 billion more on the NHS by 2020, and included other eye-catching ambitions such as increasing GP numbers, integrating health and care services, improving access to psychological therapies, and capping social care costs.
Now that 2020 has arrived, and with the benefit of hindsight, this briefing looks at how the NHS and social care have fared on the targets they were set. Which key goals have been hit, which are being missed, and which have by now been removed altogether?
As well as providing an update on how the health service and social care have performed against a sample of key targets, the briefing looks at the main lessons that should be learned – namely the importance of targets being meaningful and measurable, the need for good political leadership, and to beware being overly ambitious.
The briefing concludes with policy recommendations that might help future performance management in the NHS and social care.
Palmer B, Buckingham H, Crellin N and Oung C (2020) Hindsight 2020: Lessons on setting targets in health and social care. Briefing, Nuffield Trust.