The NHS long term plan, published today (07/01), is set to save almost 500,000 lives with action on major killer conditions and investment in world-class, cutting edge treatments.
The plans will use the use of the latest medical and health tech, such as digital GP consultations for all those who want them, coupled with early detection and a renewed focus on prevention to stop an estimated 85,000 premature deaths each year.
Measures outlined by NHS leaders will help prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases while more than three million people will benefit from new and improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.
Patients will benefit from services ranging from improved neonatal care for new parents and babies to life-changing stroke therapy and integrated support to keep older people out of hospital, living longer and more independent lives.
The NHS long term plan is also the first time in the NHS’ 70 year history when there will be a new guarantee that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget. This will fund a £4.5 billion new service model for the 21st century across England, where health bodies come together to provide better, joined up care in partnership with local government.
The commitment to tackle major physical conditions comes alongside the biggest ever investment in mental health services rising to at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24. Building on significant expansion in recent years, the long term plan will see around two million more people who suffer anxiety, depression or other problems receive help over the next decade including new dads as well as mums, and 24 hour access to crisis care via NHS 111.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “The NHS has been marking its 70th anniversary, and the national debate has rightly centred on three big truths. There’s been pride in our health service’s enduring success, and in the shared social commitment it represents. There’s been concern – about funding, staffing, increasing inequalities and pressures from a growing and ageing population. And there’s also been legitimate optimism – about the possibilities for continuing medical advance and better outcomes of care.
“In looking ahead to the Health Service’s 80th birthday, this NHS Long Term Plan acts on all three of these realities. It keeps all that’s good about our health service and its place in our national life. It tackles head-on the pressures our staff face. And it sets a practical, costed, phased route map for the NHS’s priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead.”
Along side other improvements the NHS will be the first health service in the world to offer whole genome sequencing for children with cancer and young people who have a rare genetic disorder, in addition to adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers.
New individually tailored treatments will be introduced alongside cutting edge testing services that will mean three quarters of cancer patients are diagnosed early, when the condition is easier to treat, up from half at present, saving 55,000 lives a year.
Around 23,000 premature deaths and 50,000 hospital admissions will be prevented over the next decade by putting over 100,000 patients with heart problems through a healthy living and exercise programme every year.