Laura Sharman 26 April 2017

Think tank warns of 'complex and fragmented system' for HIV care

People will HIV are being let down by the complexity of the health system in England, a new report has found.

The King’s Fund found that while improvements in treatment have enabled people with HIV to live longer, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has created a complex and fragmented system for HIV care.

The report, funded by the M·A·C AIDS Fund, also found responsibility for delivering services is spread between NHS England, local NHS organisations and councils, which has made it harder for areas to make co-ordinated changes across HIV services.

Alex Baylis, assistant director of policy for The King’s Fund, said: ‘Health care for people with HIV in England is among the best in the world and that is something we should be proud of. But this report is a warning that the labyrinthine structures created by the Health and Social Care Act make it harder to keep the focus on meeting people’s needs and represent a real threat to future quality of care.

‘The health needs of people with HIV are changing rapidly, but health care for people with the condition is too fragmented to be able to keep up with this pace of change. The number of older people with HIV is rising and they are more likely to need care from other parts of the health and social care system, and so joined-up working will be vital to them getting the care they need.’

The report argues sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) could provide stronger leadership and greater collaboration for HIV services.

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