The National Health Service (NHS) has outlined a five-year plan on how it aims to transform the way care is conveyed across its services, easing pressure on hospitals and supporting the old and frail to live healthier, independent lives.
The plan will deliver practical improvements in areas such as cancer, mental health and GP access as part of what is claimed will be the biggest national move towards integrated care currently underway in any Western country.
‘Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ will also detail an accelerated drive to improve efficiency and use of technology in order to deliver better care and meet demand within the constraints of available resources.
Following the launch of the ‘NHS Five Year Forward View’ plan two years ago, the new directive reveals what has been achieved and the changes that will take place across the health service in key areas, including:
- Improved cancer care aimed at saving an extra 5,000 lives a year through new one stop testing centres, screening programmes and state of the art radiotherapy machines.
- Boosting mental health services by increasing beds for children and young people to cut out of area care, more beds for new mothers and more mental health professionals in the community and hospitals to prevent crisis admissions.
- Better access to GP services with everyone benefiting from extended opening in the evenings and weekends, newly designated ‘Urgent Treatment Centres’ and an enhanced 111 service to ease pressure on A&Es.
- Better care for older people by bringing together services provided by GPs, hospitals, therapists, nurses and care staff, cutting emergency admissions and time spent in hospitals.
- Driving efficiency and tackling waste to make money invested in the NHS go further in delivering the services and staff that patients want, including the latest treatments and technology.
Launching the plan, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: “Heading into our 70th year, public support for the NHS is as strong as ever but so too are the pressures on our frontline staff.
“Today we chart a course for practical care improvements for the next few years. We do not underestimate the challenges but, get these right, and patients, staff and the tax-paying public will notice the benefits.”