The long-term plan, being published today, will set out detailed plans to dramatically reduce the number of people dying from big killers such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes. It will explain how the NHS will spend the extra funding Prime Minister Theresa May announced last year to mark its 70th birthday, which will increase its budget in England from £115bn to £135bn by 2023-24.
Commenting on the plan, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, Martyn Webster, said:
"Patients will welcome many of the ambitions outlined in the NHS long-term plan - including the focus on improvements to GP services, cancer services, and mental health services (particularly for younger people). Also more services being available in the community, nearer to where people live, so saving some people having to be admitted to hospital in the first place, and meaning that many of those who do have to be in hospital will be able to be discharged sooner than is often the case now.
At the same time, there are some concerns and question marks over to what degree these ambitions can be turned into reality, particularly given the serious staff shortages in the NHS - overall, more than 100,000. There are those who say that these shortages are a greater threat to health services than the funding challenges. We need to hear what the plan is to address these shortages.
And, ultimately, none of this makes sense without a long-term plan for social care services as well. It's been promised for years, but there's still no sight of it. If we're serious about supporting people to stay well and live independently for as long as possible, then it's vital that there's also significant investment and support for social care services."