Digital first provider at heart of NHS Long-Term Plan

Ebony Scott
January 10, 2019

Under the plan there will be a £4.5 billion boost for primary and community care. Theresa May stated that this is meant to reshape "the NHS around the changing needs of patients".Theresa May stated that this is meant to reshape "the NHS around the changing needs of patients".

About two million more people who suffer anxiety, depression or other problems can expect to receive help over the next decade.

Meanwhile, NHS doctors will be able to access specialist mental health support, providing a safe, confidential non-stigmatising service to turn to when they are struggling and need help. Hospitals take up the rest.

"It sets a practical, costed, phased route map for the NHS's priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead".

"The commitment to funding dedicated support to quit not just for inpatients but also for smokers receiving long-term support from mental health and learning disability services is welcome".

However, the NHS admitted it still faces a "significant challenge" to deliver its targets of cutting emissions 34 per cent by 2020 and 51 per cent by 2025, as set out in NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England that calculates the service's carbon targets in line with the requirements of the Climate Change Act.

They claim the much-delayed announcement completely ignores the NHS greatest assets - its workforce - and fails to address the years of real terms pay cuts which have left some nursing wards with vacancy rates of higher than 40%.

The current structure of mental health services often creates gaps for young people transitioning to adult mental health services when they turn 18.

Plans unveiled today to deliver a NHS plan fit for the future with a focus on more integrated community care, saving more lives and promoting the use of digital technology has been welcomed by Staffordshire County Council's health chief. This will require additional resources for training, funding for which has not been mentioned in the long-term plan, ' Dr Nagpaul said.

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"There is also a pressing need to address immediate and short-term pressures given that doctors and NHS staff are routinely struggling to cope with rising demand and, as a result, are subject to low morale, stress and burnout".

Murray noted that the plan also fails to answer questions on workforce shortages facing the NHS and detail on hospital waiting time targets.

Despite the 2bn increase to the existing £12bn a year now spent on mental health services in England, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPS) previously expressed concern that this figure is only half what is needed for the NHS to put spending more on par with that of physical health.

Patients may also be referred to "community pharmacies who support urgent care and promote patient self-care and self-management", it added.

Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation think-tank, agreed: "Continued cuts to public health and local authority budgets will hold back the NHS's ambitions to keep people healthy and tackle unjust differences in health between the best and worst off".

"This plan heralds an end of austerity for the NHS and as such marks the dawn of a new era - one in which we will need to transform the way services are delivered to patients and the public".

"Narrowing inequalities can not occur without adequate provision of social care which is not covered in the long-term plan".

Prime Minister Theresa May today (7 December) launched the NHS Long Term Plan that aims to tackle major killer conditions and save up to half a million lives at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. This is well below the 4% uplift that independent experts have calculated is required, and below historic spending levels since inception of the NHS.

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