The government has announced a 10-year plan for the NHS, which health chiefs say could prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases.and save 500,000 lives with hi-tech treatments and diagnostic testing. Here Gosport MP and Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage explains what is happening
The NHS is the most beloved institution in this country and for good reason - one million people rely on its services every day. Whether we are having our first child, getting a broken bone fixed, or have a long-term health condition, the NHS is part of all our lives.
And the number of people using the NHS is rising - which presents an unprecedented challenge for its hardworking staff.
This is exactly why today we’ve launched a new Long Term Plan for our NHS. The plan is paid for by you – taxpayers – as part of the largest investment of taxpayers’ money in the NHS’s history. It will guarantee the future of the NHS for the next generation.
In common with wider society, the NHS has changed dramatically over the last 70 years. But the core principle that good health care should be available to all, free at the point of use, remains. And I will continue to champion that.
We must plan for the future because the challenges we face are going to be different from the challenges we have faced in the past.
The 10-year plan follows thousands of conversations with clinicians, patients and the public to ensure we focus on the priorities that matter to all of us.
It will help people stay out of hospital by preventing ill health in the first place; provide more convenient care by treating and looking after patients closer to home; support the NHS to embrace new technology and ensure it is at the cutting-edge of new medicines and treatments; and will focus on training, recruiting and retaining the best staff.
Importantly it will also ensure good mental health is seen as vital as good physical health.
The plan will mean our growing elderly population will be supported to stay healthy and independent for longer and better support for carers.
Everyone will receive more personalised care, there will be a bigger focus on social prescribing and empowering people to take greater control and responsibility over their own health through predictive prevention, and personal health budgets.
New mums will have more support with improved maternity services, more support for both parents and carers in the early years of their child’s life so we can give all young people the best possible start in life.
We will improve how the NHS cares for children and young people with learning disabilities and autism by reducing inappropriate hospitalisation, reducing over medicalisation, and providing quality care in the community.
The NHS will tackle unacceptable health inequalities by targeting support towards the most vulnerable in areas of high deprivation.
And over 10 years, the plan will prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases and ensure that each year 1,600 stroke patients avoid long term disability and 55,000 more people will survive cancer each year.
Our Long Term Plan will ensure the NHS continues to be there, from cradle to grave, free at the point of use, based on clinical need and not ability to pay.
A health service that can look to the future with confidence and hope.