The NHS Long Term Plan
The NHS has been marking its 70th anniversary, and the national debate this has unleashed has centred on three big truths. There’s been pride in our Health Service’s enduring success, and in the shared social commitment it represents. There’s been concern – about funding, staffing, increasing inequalities and pressures from a growing and ageing population. But there’s also been optimism – about the possibilities for continuing medical advance and better outcomes of care.
In looking ahead to the Health Service’s 80th birthday, this NHS Long Term Plan takes all three of these realities as its starting point. So to succeed, we must keep all that’s good about our health service and its place in our national life. But we must tackle head-on the pressures our staff face, while making our extra funding go as far as possible. And as we do so, we must accelerate the redesign of patient care to future-proof the NHS for the decade ahead. This Plan sets out how we will do that. We are now able to because:
- first, we now have a secure and improved funding path for the NHS, averaging 3.4% a year over the next five years, compared with 2.2% over the past five years;
- second, because there is wide consensus about the changes now needed. This has been confirmed by patients’ groups, professional bodies and frontline NHS leaders who since July have all helped shape this plan – through over 200 separate events, over 2,500 separate responses, through insights offered by 85,000 members of the public and from organisations representing over 3.5 million people;
- and third, because work that kicked-off after the NHS Five Year Forward View is now beginning to bear fruit, providing practical experience of how to bring about the changes set out in this Plan. Almost everything in this Plan is already being implemented successfully somewhere in the NHS.