The focus of this policy is on investing in the buildings and technology of the NHS, with a clear commitment that upgrades will be made “in every part of England” and that the investment will be “the most ambitious…ever seen”.
Only when this “ambitious” investment occurs across England, and to support all three types of NHS facilities mentioned, can the policy be said to be ‘done’.
The plan outlines increases in funding for primary and community care, £4.5 billion by 2023/24. Detail regarding improvements to NHS buildings or how spending will be distributed throughout England is less clear.
However, there is more detail regarding technological improvements. Funding for additional devices to speed up scanning for cancer and improve outpatient and other specialist services is outlined. Particularly ambitious are plans for a digital transformation across the NHS, with, for example, online GP consultations becoming every patient’s right over the next five years, and the ongoing roll-out of the NHS app. The policy becomes more vague the further into the future, with a ten-year vision in which people are increasingly cared for at home using remote monitoring and wearable devices.
The long-term nature of the plan means we will not know for some time yet whether this policy has been delivered. But based on initiatives outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan, this policy can be said to be ‘in progress’. We’ll keep tracking developments, particularly looking for evidence of action on the promise to invest in buildings, so follow this policy for updates.
Build and upgrade your knowledge base – get the details!
- The NHS Long Term Plan: progress and a way forward – Mental health Foundation
- Mental Health Policy Group responds to publication of NHS long term plan – NHS Confederation
- The NHS long-term plan explained – The Kings Fund
- The NHS long-term plan: five things you need to know – The Kings Fund
- The King’s Fund response to the NHS long-term plan – The Kings Fund
- Our role in developing digital capabilities – NHS England