NHS Long-Term Plan: The Ambitious Plan

04 February 2019

Beverley Marriott is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner working in the Frailty and Dementia Matron Adults and Community Division BCHCFT. She is also a King’s College Older Person Fellow. She tweets @bevbighair

Health leaders have come together to develop the NHS Long Term Plan to make the NHS fit for the future. The plans, drawn up by patient groups, frontline staff, and a variety of experts, set out the key ambitions for improvements in services in every part of England that aim to improve the lives of many people.

The ambitious plans focus on a joined up, integrated approach to care and on service improvement outside acute care, offering preventive and person-centred approaches.

However, financial constraints may make it difficult to join all the dots together. And given that trusts are constantly tackling workforce shortages, do we have enough staff to deliver the plan?

The ambition to establish integrated care systems across the country by 2021 means that NHS organisations need to work together with partners and local authorities to deliver these huge scale improvements.

Delivering the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan

To deliver the NHS Long term plan it is essential we ‘do things differently’, by ‘Preventing illness and tackling health inequalities’, ‘Backing our workforce’, ‘Making better use of data and digital technology’ and ‘Getting the most of taxpayers’ investment in the NHS’

  1. Doing things differently:
  • Giving people more control over their own health and the care they receive
  • Encouraging more collaboration between GPs and community services, as ‘Primary Care Networks’, to increase the services they can provide jointly
  • Increasing the focus on NHS organisations working with their local partners, as ‘Integrated Care Systems’, to plan and deliver services which meet the needs of their communities.
  1. Preventing illness and tackling health inequalities:
  • The NHS will increase its contribution to tackling some of the most significant causes of ill health, including new action to help people stop smoking, overcome drinking problems and to avoid Type 2 diabetes, with a particular focus on the communities and groups of people most affected by these problems.
  1. Backing our workforce:
  • The aspiration is a continued increase in the NHS workforce by training and recruiting more professionals – including thousands more clinical placements for undergraduate nurses, hundreds more medical school places, and more routes into the NHS such as apprenticeships.
  1. Making better use of data and digital technology:
  • Providing more convenient access to services and health information for patients, with the new NHS App as a digital ‘front door’
  • Providing better access to digital tools and patient records for staff
  • Improving the planning and delivery of services based on the analysis of patient and population data
  1. Getting the most out of taxpayers’ investment in the NHS:
  • Continue working with doctors and other health professionals to identify ways to reduce duplication in clinical services

The NHS Long-Term Plan is a huge challenge that requires a shift towards community care and prevention if we are to support people to live healthier, longer lives, and to receive care in or close to their homes. Community services will need to work more closely with primary care if together we are to make the extensive changes required to support people, especially those who are frail and vulnerable.

Download the The NHS Long Term Plan



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