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 by 2023/4.
That’s why the NHS 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 – who will continue to shape how it will be implemented across the country.
The Plan shows how we will use the extra money to deliver the best results for patients, taxpayers and staff.
The vision: an NHS fit for the future
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, by 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.
- by 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.
- by 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.
- by 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.
How the NHS will be fit for the future
The NHS will take action to make this ambitious vision a reality.
1. We will join 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. The NHS will help 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. The NHS will tackle health inequalities by working with specific groups who are vulnerable to poor health, with more funding for areas with high deprivation and targeted support to help homeless people, black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, and those with mental illnesses or learning disabilities.
4. We will back 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. We will bring 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. The NHS will spend this extra investment wisely, making sure money goes where it matters most. The NHS will build on the £6 billion we saved last year by reducing waste, tackling variations and improving the effectiveness of treatments – this will include bearing down on red tape, ensuring the NHS is used responsibly, and curbing fraud and other abuses.
Now the NHS Long Term Plan has been published, local NHS organisations – working together with each other, local councils and other partners – will develop their own strategies for the next five years, which set out how they will make the ambitions of the Long Term Plan a reality for the communities they serve.