The NHS Long Term Plan – A Study of Selected Key Priorities05-Feb-2019
After much consultation with a worthwhile collection of Healthcare Staff and Patients across the Sector, the NHS’s Long Term Plan was published in early 2019. If you don’t have time to read all 133 pages, you may find this summary of selected Key Priorities useful.
It is hoped this summary helps to show what the Priorities would mean for you, for organisations and the Voluntary Sector as whole.
Selections of the Key Priorities outlined in the plan include the following:
Tackling major physical conditions
The plan speaks of increasing cancer survival rates; with the intention of improving on early detection from 1 out of every 2 patients to 3 out of 4.
There will also be provisions for genetic testing, especially for people at high risk of inherited cholesterol, as well as putting new systems in place aimed at helping more than 3 million people with any stroke or heart conditions, or people with breathing concerns, over the next ten years.
The NHS Plan announced putting in over £2 Billion a year toward Mental Healthcare over the next five years; this should include day and night access to crisis care through NHS 111, and improved support for sufferers of anxiety and depression.
There will also be more Mental Health support for children and young adults through community based services, as well as in schools; and with The Plan announcing in an increase in budget for mental health services, it looks to deliver community-based physical and mental care for over 300,000 people a year with severe mental illness within the next five years.
The plan shows details of improving on maternity safety and halving both stillbirths and maternity-related deaths by 2025.
And whilst reporting that 1 in 5 new mothers struggle with mental health during in the first year of their baby's life, The Plan challenges this by announcing it will provide increased support for new parents.
The plan announces an increase in funding for primary and community care by at least £4.5 billion, as well as providing greater choice to older people by expanding the use of personal budgets; this should allow people to decide what care they want.
There will also be greater support in the community; this is aimed at keeping older people out of hospital, allowing them to live longer and more independent lives.
The Plan also looks to put in place a same day emergency care in every hospital with a major A&E department; the intention is patients can be treated and discharged with the right package of support, and reduce the need of an overnight stay.
The plan also looks to develop more rapid community response teams. This is intended to reduce unnecessary hospital stays, and speed up discharges.
The plan looks to provide easier access to services, as well as more health information for patients, such as online GP booking and optional digital GP consultations, all aimed at making it easier for patients to access health care.
Amongst other intentions, such as providing the best stroke care in Europe with over 100,000 more people each year accessing new, better services, the plan announced using available funding to buy new equipment. This will include new CT and MRI scanners delivering safer and faster test results.
One of the important aspects relevant to the Charity Sector is that the plan recognised the vital role of volunteers.
The plan identifies the role of volunteers in the delivery of care across the NHS, providing help to older people as well as the young; whether to “..stay physically active and connected to their communities..” or for “..younger people to develop skills and experience for work and education”.
To encourage this positive action, The NHS Long Term Plan talks about providing greater access for younger volunteers through programmes such as #iWill, as mentioned in the Civil Society Strategy; with increased focus on programmes in deprived areas, for those with mental health issues, learning disabilities and autism.
This is backed up by funding pledge of at least £2.3 million in support of successful volunteering programmes across the country and double the number of NHS volunteers over the next three years.