New NHS blueprint aims to save half a million lives over next decade

Posted On: 
7th January 2019

A new NHS plan which aims to save half a million lives over the next decade by focusing on preventative care and new technology will be unveiled today by Theresa May.

Theresa May will set out how the NHS will spend billions in extra funding

Theresa May and NHS chief Simon Stevens will set out how more than £20 billion in extra cash, promised on the service’s 70th birthday last year, will be spent. 

However, the plans come amid fresh warnings about funding shortages, with an influential think tank suggesting that a £1bn gap could hit services over the coming year.

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Ahead of its publication, Mr Stevens said the document “keeps all that’s good about our health service and its place in our national life"..

He said: “It tackles head-on the pressures our staff face. And it sets a practical, costed, phased route map for the NHS’s priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead.”

The ten-year plan is expected to include pledges to improve mentall health care, provide the best maternity services in the world, expand the use of personal budgets for social care, increase the size of the NHS workforce and improve prevention and detection of disease.

But Sally Gainsbury, senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust, told the Times: “The combined impact of staff pay rises, inflation and growing numbers of patients will mean it will face a cost pressure of £7.3 billion.

“That would leave the NHS over £1 billion short, despite the extra funding.”

The new proposals set how the service will spend a cash boost announced by the Prime Minister last year, which will take its budget in England from £115bn to £135bn by 2023-24.

Under the plans more resources will be focused on preventative care, with the intention of keeping patients out of hospital.

New technology will play a role with genomics, cutting-edge surgery and artificial intelligence set to play a central role in dramatically reducing some of the biggest killers, including cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

Mr Stevens said the changes could prevent up to 500,000 premature deaths over the next decade.

In an article for the Times, Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote: “The NHS Long Term Plan will grow and better support the workforce and invest in new technologies to bring our health service into the digital age, making it fit for the future.

“There will be a new focus on prevention, personal responsibility and promoting good health, and more rapid diagnostics and new treatments will improve your care.

“In essence the plan will ensure that everyone from the beginning to the end of their life will get the best possible support.