NHS looks to digital and genomics to secure its future

10 January, 2019, 15:59 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Smokers admitted to hospital will be encouraged to quit as part of new NHS plans

NHS bosses have said that the new 10-year plan could save as many as 500,000 lives through its focus on prevention and early detection of strokes, heart problems, and cancer.

The plan was welcomed by campaigners, but experts warned that implementing it would be hard.

The NHS has revealed its long-term plan, setting out how it hopes to improve health care across England in the next five to 10 years.

NHS England chief Simon Stevens said the plan also "tackles head on" the pressures faced by health staff - but the service and the Government were under pressure to set out how it will recruit extra staff to ease the strain on its members and address the "harsh realities" faced by workers.

She said that it was affordable in part because the United Kingdom would no longer be sending "vast annual sums" to Brussels after it leaves the European Union.

Mrs May said her government had overseen the "biggest cash boost for the NHS in its history".

Welcoming the NHS England announcement, Luen Thompson, Forget Me Not's chief executive, said: "This is hugely positive news for children's hospices across the UK".

There is also concern that the plan can only provide a partial answer to the challenges facing the NHS until the government sets out its social care strategy.

A routine health checkup could help save life and prolonged health issues but despite it being offered free by the NHS in England to people below 50 years, less than half the nation's citizens have taken part in the health drive.

Cancer charities gave the plans a cautious welcome.

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She said: "We welcome the increased focus and funding for community health services and mental health".

The Plan will open a digital "front door" to the health service, allowing patients to be able to access health care at the touch of a button and ensure every hospital with a major A&E department has "same day emergency care" in place.

Measures outlined in the plan include providing mental health assistance to 345,000 more children and young people and offering whole genome sequencing to children with cancer and young people who have a rare genetic disorder.

The plan prioritises improved access for mental health services, expansion of personal health budgets, improvements to maternity care and support for the ageing population in England, with other parts of the United Kingdom being funded separately.

Our Long Term Plan will ensure the NHS continues to be there, free at the point of use, based on clinical need, not ability to pay, better resourced with more staff. "We will therefore expand geographical coverage of NHS services for people with serious gambling problems, and work with partners to tackle the problem at source".

Under "The NHS Long-Term Plan", primary care networks will be part of shared savings schemes, through which they will keep savings made by medication reviews carried out by pharmacists.

"We very much welcome the increased funding for the NHS and the vision to strengthen and improve services".

Nuffield Trust policy analyst Sally Gainsbury said that this year, "the combined impact of staff pay rises, inflation and growing numbers of patients will mean it will face a cost pressure of £7.3bn".

Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said smart inhalers were "game-changing devices" that "track how often and well people are taking their asthma medication so that those most at risk of asthma attacks can be identified and helped before they need hospital treatment".

The sophistication of commodity technology services, the plethora of advances in health technology, the track-record of reliable delivery which we have quietly laid down over recent years, and the passion and commitment of this Secretary of State to transforming these capabilities combine to make this a time of enormous opportunity and potential.

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