James Brokenshire has welcomed the biggest funding increase in NHS history of £20.5 billion a year by 2023/4. It ensures the NHS is here for generations to come, and will save 500,000 lives with improvements in cancer, heart disease, stroke and other conditions.
The plan will provide a new focus on prevention with significant investment in primary and community care, personal responsibility and promoting good health, and more rapid diagnostics and new treatments that will improve the care patients receive.
The plan sets out a flagship ambition to improve cancer survival rates, with earlier and more rapid diagnosis, new screening programmes and an offer of genomic testing to all people with cancer – so that in 10 years’ time, 55,000 more people survive cancer each year.
The plan provides an unprecedented increase in funding for primary medical and community health services, meaning that spending on these services will be at least £4.5 billion higher in five years’ time. As well as boosting nurse and doctors numbers and ensuring staff receive better support, training and career progression.
The plan also includes measures to improve access to mental health services, giving 370,000 adults with severe mental illness and 345,000 children greater support to get better, and roll-out of new mental health support teams to work with schools and colleges to support children and young people.
Commenting on the plan, James said:
“The NHS Long-Term Plan, supported by record levels of funding, signals the Government’s determination to transform health and care for people at every stage in life. It demonstrates that the NHS is our priority just as it is the public’s priority, and it gives us the chance to secure the NHS for the future and back the amazing work of our NHS staff.”
“I am pleased that at the heart of the plan is the principle that prevention is better than cure. 12 months ago I was facing up to lung cancer surgery but because it had been picked up early enough the outlook was positive. Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer is absolutely key and I really welcome that this is at the core of the plan to help save more lives.”