Health bosses have outlined a new five year plan for the NHS, which calls for drastic changes to services and billions in added funding.
The Five Year Forward View, unveiled by six national bodies, proposes a variety of changes to the way services are delivered and and address the NHS funding gap, which is expected to reach £30 billion by 2020/21.
NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said:
“Healthcare in this country has improved dramatically over recent years and has weathered recent financial storms with remarkable resilience, thanks to protected funding and the commitment and dedication of NHS staff.
“But the NHS is now at a crossroads – as a country we need to decide which way to go. The Forward View represents the shared view of the national leadership of the NHS, setting out the choices – and consequences – that we will face over the next five years.”
Stevens proposes changes to the NHS on four fronts to help the health service adapt to the UK’s ageing population, which include:
- Doing more to tackle the root causes of ill health and targeting obesity, alcohol, smoking and other health risks with a radical upgrade in prevention and public health.
- Committing to giving patients more control of their own care, including the option of combining health and social care, and new support for carers and volunteers.
- Focusing on models of care built around the needs of patients and breaking down the boundaries between family doctors and hospitals, between physical and mental health and between health and social care.
- Develop and delivering the new models of care, improving local flexibility and making more investment in the workforce, technology and innovation.
The plan also highlighted that an annual £30bn shortfall would open up by 2020, and changes such as GP practices offering hospital services would partially close the gap, the NHS would still need funding increases of 1.5% above inflation, or around £8bn a year, for the coming years.
The Five Year Forward View is a collaboration between six leading NHS groups including Monitor, Health Education England, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and NHS England.