The chief executive of a Peterborough health trust has praised the NHS Long-Term Plan which has been published today (Monday, January 7).
Tracy Dowling, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said she was pleased the 10 year plan focuses on several key areas including extra funding for community services and young people’s mental health, and also includes commitments to recruiting more staff and implementing the use of technology to improve patient care.
She said: “We welcome the increased focus and funding for community health services and mental health. We are especially pleased to see more support for young people’s mental health where additional resources for core services and those that support the transition to adult services are much needed.
“At CPFT we continue to successfully integrate physical and mental health services and some of the initiatives we have developed – a 24-hour mental health crisis care line and improved support in our local A and E departments – are now being adopted across the country.
“But what will really be key will be the details of the 10 year plan and how they will translate to frontline care.
“We need to focus on workforce recruitment and development in order to meet the growing healthcare demands of our population, and to embrace how new technologies can help us all be healthier and access services in new ways.
“It is great to see the priorities in the plan support us in addressing these issues.”
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health services and community physical health services for older people and those with long-term conditions as well as social care and children’s community health services in Peterborough.
The NHS claims Almost half a million more lives will be saved over the next 10 years as a result of the new plan with investment in world-class, cutting-edge treatments including genomic tests for every child with cancer.
Measures outlined in the blueprint will help prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases while more than three million people will benefit from new and improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.
Pledges in the plan include ensuring every hospital with a major A&E department has “same day emergency care” in place so that patients can be treated and discharged with the right package of support, without needing an overnight stay. There will also be a commitment to deliver more care to people in their own homes, freeing up space in hospitals for those who need it most.
Concerns have been raised about staff shortages, while there may be changes to the current target that at least 95 per cent of patients attending A&E departments should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
Prime Minister Theresa May said that the investment would help “transform” services for patients who would experience “world class treatment”. She said the plan marks an “historic step” to secure the future of the health service “with a focus on ensuring that every pound is spent in a way that will most benefit patients”.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said that Mrs May was proposing “a 10-year plan to clear up a mess that she made”.
He said: “The Tories have spent nine years running down the NHS. They have failed to recruit and train the staff desperately needed, leaving our NHS struggling with chronic shortages of over 100,000 staff.”