City residents to get a say in NHS long term planning
NHS England has released funds to local Healthwatch in north east London to consult local people and engage them in developing a local NHS Long Term Plan.
Local Healthwatch, including Healthwatch City of London, will each receive £2,500 to engage and consult local people and make sure they can influence the plans.
The consultation process will take place before mid May and include a survey, a public meeting and a focus group with a specific local community.
We will provide more detail to members and supporters once the Healthwatch City of London board has agreed the local approach.
NHS England published its NHS Long Term plan in January 2019, setting out priorities and plans for the NHS until 2029.
The plan promises to improve services outside hospital, mainly primary and community services, develop integrated health and care organisations in every area and expand digital healthcare.
NHS England leaders claim the Long Term Plan could save up to 500,000 lives over the next ten years by focusing on prevention and early detection.
However, patient campaigners fear the plan paves the way for ‘imposition of a centralised top down NHS structure’ and criticised it for failing to address NHS workforce shortages and the funding crisis in adult social care.
Learning disability organisations also condemned NHS England for using the plan to push back Transforming Care targets for getting people with learning disabilities and/or autism out of psychiatric assessment and treatments wards.
The plan comes after the Government announced the NHS budget would be increased by £20bn a year by 2023. The biggest funding increases will be seen in general practice, mental health and community care.
Health think tank The King’s Fund praised the plan’s focus on integration of health and care but warned its delivery relied on tackling workforce shortages and content of the yet-to-be-published social care green paper.
It also said the funding settlement was below the average 3.7% funding increase provided since the NHS was founded and less than the 4 per cent many say is necessary to maintain standards of care and meet rising demand.
Key NHS Long Term plan priorities:
- Mental health
- Care for people with two or more chronic medical conditions
- Supporting people to age healthily and tackling issues such as dementia
- Children’s health
- Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
- Learning disability and autism
Healthwatch England welcomed the plan and was pleased it had incorporated patient views into the document.