We are faced with a growing number of health challenges, nationally and globally.
With an ageing population and increasing numbers of people living with long-term conditions, traditional health and social care models in the UK have faced increasing pressure. This has provided opportunities to innovate and develop new ways of working across the lifespan.
Individuals are being afforded more control over their own health, and demand for personalised, often digitally enhanced, care is increasing. Initiatives to reduce health inequalities are essential to help people to live well for longer, regardless of their age, location, or diagnosis. Action to reduce rates of smoking, obesity, alcohol use, air pollution and antimicrobial resistance is vital. There will be further attention placed on care quality and outcomes, including services for children and young people, as well as better care for those living with major health conditions such as adult mental ill-health, dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and stroke.
Trauma is a major contributor to mental and physical illness in both the general ageing population as well as among the health and social care workforce. As such, action is required to better understand these pathways with a view to developing preventative approaches, and to ensure that our health and social care workforce are equipped with the skills and support needed to meet these increasing demands.
Research has a key role to play in meeting the health and social care challenges of the 21st century. Collaboration is key, bringing together academics, clinicians, patients and the general public, to design, conduct and disseminate research with the potential to make a difference.
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