The long term plan
The NHS is one of our nation’s greatest achievements, and for 70 years dedicated NHS staff have been there for us.
But more people are living longer, many with complex health conditions, so the NHS needs to plan so it can work more smartly and effectively, deliver excellent care and attract and retain the best staff.
Last summer the Prime Minister committed an extra £20.5 billion a year going into the NHS in England by 2023/4.
That’s why the NHS nationally has written a Long Term Plan, developed in partnership with those who know the NHS best – frontline health and care staff, patients and their families.
The NHS Long Term Plan will make sure the NHS is fit for the future, providing high quality care and better health outcomes for patients and their families, through every stage of life.
Giving everyone the best start in life;
• … through better maternity services, including a dedicated midwife looking after a mother throughout her pregnancy.
• … by joining up services from birth through to age 25, particularly improving care for children with long term conditions like asthma, epilepsy and diabetes and revolutionising how the NHS cares for children and young people with poor mental health with more services in schools and colleges.
Delivering world-class care for major health problems to help people live well;
• … with faster and better diagnosis, treatment and care for the most common killers, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung disease, achieving survival rates that are among the best in the world.
• … supporting families and individuals with mental health problems, making it easier to access talking therapies and transforming how the NHS responds to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
And helping people age well;
• … with fast and appropriate care in the community, including in care homes, to prevent avoidable hospital admissions for frail and older people.
• … by significantly increasing the numbers of people who can take control of their healthcare through personal budgets.
The NHS Long Term Plan also describes the actions that will need to be taken at local, regional and national level to make this ambitious vision a reality.
1. Joining up the NHS so patients don’t fall through the cracks, such as by breaking down the barriers between GP services and those in the community.
2. Helping individuals and families to help themselves, by taking a more active role in preventing ill-health, such as offering dedicated support to people to stop smoking, lose weight and cut down on alcohol.
3. Tackling health inequalities by working with specific groups who are vulnerable to poor health, with targeted support to help homeless people, black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, and those with mental illnesses or learning disabilities.
4. Backing our workforce by increasing the number of people working in the NHS, particularly in mental health, primary care and community services. We will also create a better working environment by offering better training, support and career progression and we’ll crack down on bullying and violence at all levels.
5. Bringing the NHS into the digital age, rolling out technology such as new digital GP services that will improve access and help patients make appointments, manage prescriptions and view health records on-line.
6. Spending this extra investment wisely, making sure money goes where it matters most. The NHS will continue to reduce waste, tackle variations and improve the effectiveness of treatments.
Now the national plan has been published, our Partnership – as the local health and care system in mid and South Essex – need to decide how best to take the ambitions it contains and turn them into real improvements in services over the next few years, building on the progress we have already made in recent years by working more closely together.
And just as the national plan was developed in partnership with patients, staff, local councils and others, so will be our own local plans.
As part that work local Healthwatch organisations – led by Healthwatch Thurrock – are undertaking a programme of engagement on the NHS Long Term Plan across the area.
Their #WhatWouldYouDo campaign consists of online surveys and a range of engagement events which will be fed into the local Long Term Plan and help determone how we deliver its ambitions for the people of Mid and South Essex.
To read a copy of the national plan and find out more, visit www.longtermplan.nhs.uk