March 26, 2019

NHS launches 'effective' plan to tackle alcohol abuse

08 January 2019, 03:26 | Silvia Roy

Smokers admitted to hospital will be encouraged to quit as part of new NHS plans

Smokers admitted to hospital will be encouraged to quit as part of new NHS plans

With additional funding announced, the NHS is making plans to make it fit for future generations.

Allies of Stevens say that the long-term plan shows that NHS campaigners have been wrong to depict him as someone who has been presiding over a sell-off of NHS care.

Pledges in the plan include ensuring every hospital with a major A&E department has "same day emergency care" in place so that patients can be treated and discharged with the right package of support, without needing an overnight stay.

This will be delivered in the 25% worst affected parts of the country and could prevent 50,000 admissions and nearly 250,000 bed days over five years, according to the NHS.

Theresa May hailed the launch of the plan, which sets out how the NHS will use the extra £20.5bn real-terms boost to health spending over the next five years, as "a historic moment".

NHS England's focus on multidisciplinary teams will also see the creation of "pharmacy connection schemes", which would be set up by clinical commissioning groups for "patients who don't need primary medical services".

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It will be supported by further investment in the platform, along with the creation of a new framework for digital suppliers to primary care, a review - which will take in the GP payment formula - of digital first practices to ensure they are safe and benefit the NHS, and a review of GP regulation and terms and conditions. Better support will also be offered to fathers or partners of women accessing specialist perinatal mental health services. The 10-year plan will only affect NHS England.

The overall increase for NHS England is equivalent to an annual real terms rise of almost 3.5%, around twice the annual increase the NHS has received since 2010.

Speaking alongside NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, where 13 per cent of the hospital's doctors are from the European Union, the Prime Minister said the additional funding would "provide both the certainty and the long-term direction needed to transform patient care and secure the future of our NHS".

It's worth noting that in total, community health services, mental health and primary care costs the NHS around £27bn a year, so the allocation for mental health is just less than 10%. This is due to chronic staff shortages and inadequate workforce planning.

This, in turn, reduces the demand for health and care services.

Community-based mental health services for kids are set to receive significant investment. "In addition, better care and support for people living with heart failure will significantly improve quality of life for many".

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"The Long Term Plan represents vital progress towards parity of esteem for mental health services and has come through genuine and meaningful engagement with the sector".

A substantial chunk of the plan focuses on how mental health services will be improved between now and 2029, by improving waiting times, providing a universal helpline for those in crisis, and investing money into services supporting children and young people.

National Health Service Trusts have already been told they can't buy any more fax machines from this month, and the devices will be banned by 2020.

"If the NHS is to better meet the needs of patients and the public in these important areas of mental illness, cancer and long-term conditions, it must recognise the value of the highly skilled and qualified nursing workforce and the harsh realities on the NHS frontline".

And we will upgrade urgent care so people can get the right care more quickly.

It will continue to be shaped and refined by staff and patients through an implementation plan framework in the spring, with events and activities across the country to help people understand what it means for them and their local NHS services. The Plan suggests that offering a "digital first" option will provide "longer and richer face-to-face consultations with clinicians where patients want it or need it".

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