On Monday 7th January, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s long-term plan for the NHS. An increase to the NHS budget by £20.5 billion in real terms over the next five years (the biggest cash increase in the NHS’ history) gives the Government the opportunity to address issues in the health service in a substantive and effective way. The Prime Minister laid out the following measures that will protect the future of the NHS and improve patient experience and outcomes:
- More doctors, nurses and other health professionals, particularly in mental health, primary care and community services will be employed across the NHS. These new staff and existing staff will be provided with a better working environment through improved training, support and career progression, stronger leadership at all levels, and a clamp down on bullying and violence to improve retention.
- The NHS will be brought into the digital age and made fit for the future. New digital GP services will improve access and help people make appointments, manage prescriptions and view their health records online. Technology will help people manage long-term conditions, while digital health records will help different parts of the health and care system work together to deliver the care at the right time, in the right place.
- Health outcomes across all life stages and for major conditions will be improved with better and more appropriate care. This includes ensuring every baby gets the best start in life, and revolutionising how the NHS cares for young people experiencing poor mental health. For major conditions, such as cancer, care will be improved so people live longer and feel healthier. This includes measures to prevent up to 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases over the next ten years with improving medical technologies. People will also be better supported in their later years, ensuring older people remain independent in their own home for longer.
- Targeted funding will look to reduce health inequalities so that the NHS delivers for everyone. The best NHS organisations will be supported in order to help other services improve and ensure that the best care is available to everyone across the nation.
I fully support the Government in their ambitious plans for the NHS but will continue to make the case for increased and targeted funding towards Worcestershire, particularly for acute hospital treatment. We have undoubtedly experienced a difficult time in local healthcare but I am hopeful that national improvements and a reiterated commitment to target areas of need will lead to improved health outcomes in the county. It is one of my main roles as a Worcestershire MP to push the Government on health funding and policy and my support of the measures outlined in the long-term plan will not mean that I stop doing this. My primary concern on healthcare will always be that my constituents have a positive experience in the NHS.