About Better Health

Our care needs are changing. People are living longer and have different conditions and health needs: dementia, obesity and alcohol-related disease have become major challenges and more people have long-term health conditions and need support and management, often for many years.

Advances in medical knowledge and technology, and the development of increasingly sophisticated and specialist treatments and procedures mean many of us are surviving illnesses and enjoying a better quality of life well into old age, compared with our parents or grandparents.

More services can be provided in community settings or GP practices, without the need for hospital visits.

People needing planned hospital treatment have a much reduced length of stay, or can be treated as day patients. At the same time, hospitals are treating many much older and frailer patients, with multiple health problems, who may need lots of support in order to be able to leave hospital.

We also know that not all patients receive the same quality of care all of the time.

This may be because services aren’t organised in the same way in all of our communities, or across each of our hospitals, or because services aren’t available or have reduced staffing levels at different times of the day, or at weekends.

So with we need to review the services that we provide across Durham and Tees Valley, to make sure that these are meeting the needs of our population, are of a consistently high standard across all our providers, and have the staffing and resources to be sustainable into the future.

The Better Health programme is about meeting patient needs now and in the future with constantly improving health and social care delivered in the best place

We want to make sure:

  • We improve results for patients
  • Care is of the same high standard wherever, and whenever it is provided
  • Services have the resources to be sustainable for the next 10 -15 years
  • We can provide services across 7 days a week where necessary
  • We make services easier for patients to understand and use
  • We improve life expectancy and quality of life for everyone in Darlington, Durham and Tees

Information on the programme is available in different languages and formats.
Please email necsu.betterhealthprogramme@nhs.net for more information or specific requests.

Read about the Challenges facing the Better Health Programme.