The NHS has launched a new strategy focusing on health prevention that it hopes will reduce the pressure on hospitals. It is hoped that the 10-year plan could save 500,000 lives through providing support to those whose lifestyles could result in serious illness, that could otherwise be prevented. With a larger proportion of funding being given to mental health, community care and GP services, it is hoped that patients will get care closer to home, without the need to be in hospital any longer that they need to be.
‘A truly historic moment’
The NHS Long Term Plan was launched this week by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in what she called ‘a truly historic moment’, with the focus of healthcare shifting away from hospitals and into the community instead. The plan will see an extra £20bn of funding given to the NHS, with a significant amount being given to fund GP and community care.
While there are concerns about implementing the plan as a result of staffing shortages, it is hoped that the new plan will save lives by reducing the number of people falling ill as a result of poor lifestyles. It aims to achieve this by focusing on preventing smoking, drinking, poor diet and other factors which can help contribute to ill health.
What do the health prevention measures mean for you?
The NHS Long Term Plan aims to make the NHS ‘fit for its future’, and has been shaped with the help of patients and staff who’ve given their views on healthcare.
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There is a focus on providing more personalised care to patients in terms of the medication they are prescribed, as well as offering more tailored care in terms of advice and support for improving health and wellness. Many people’s health issues don’t become apparent until they visit their GP or hospital for a check-up, and providing more care in the community could help to bring these issues to light sooner so that people can enjoy healthier futures.
More services will be provided to children and young people, especially where mental health is concerned. This includes providing more help to schools and other services which provide support up to the age of 25, in light of the growing concerns faced by young people around mental health.
Another key ambition is the introduction of ‘same day emergency care’, which will provide treatment to those who can be treated same-day, to help tackle hospital stays and ‘bed-blocking’. This will be of particular benefit to the elderly so they can get home sooner and avoid the deterioration that can occur from longer hospital stays.
Putting the responsibility for health back on patients
The most important element of the Long Term Plan and health prevention is the encouragement of healthy living. It’s hoped that by giving the responsibility of health back to the public, they will alter their poor lifestyles and focus on healthier futures. By shifting focus away from hospitals and back into the community, this sort of care and support can be provided to patients.
Taking more responsibility for your health is something you can start now to help you live a healthier lifestyle and reduce your risk of going to hospital. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and giving up smoking, drinking less and avoiding drugs is a great place to start. Look at how you can boost your life expectancy and start making some key lifestyle changes today.