News story

Health leaders set out new year plan for a sustainable NHS

The leaders of the NHS in England have set out new steps to be taken during 2015/16 to deliver the NHS Five-Year Forward View.

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Titled The Forward View into action: planning for 2015/16, the planning guidance is backed by the recently-announced £1.98 billion of additional funding, with specific allocations for each area of England.

In allocating the £1.98 billion (which is on top of the money the NHS was already expecting next year), NHS England is passing £1.5 billion to frontline health services including primary care, local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and specialised services.

Every CCG will get a real terms budget increase. More of the extra funding for local health services is being used to more rapidly increase NHS budgets where health needs are greatest, and for those parts of the country where the population is growing rapidly, and where services are under greatest pressure.

Spending on GP and primary care services will for the first time in a number of years grow in real terms at a higher rate than for other local health services, in recognition of the pressures in primary care.

To begin tackling relative underinvestment in mental health services, every CCG will be expected to use its extra funding to increase funding for local mental health services in real terms next year by at least the level of the CCG’s overall funding growth. In addition a further £110 million of dedicated purchasing power is being injected to improve services for people with severe mental health problems, with anxiety and depression, and with eating disorders, particularly children and adolescents.

This is the first time ever that the annual planning guidance has been jointly produced for the entire NHS by Monitor, NHS England, Public Heath England, the NHS Trust Development Authority, the Care Quality Commission and Health Education England. It:

  • sets outs 7 approaches to a radical upgrade in prevention of illness, with England becoming the first country to implement a national evidence-based diabetes prevention programme
  • explains how £480 million of the extra funding (on top of the £1.5 billion described above) will be used to support transformation in primary care, mental health and local health economies
  • makes clear the local NHS must work together to ensure patients receive the standards guaranteed by the NHS Constitution
  • underlines the NHS’s commitment to giving doctors, nurses, other staff and carers access to all the data, information and knowledge they need to deliver the best possible care
  • details how the NHS will accelerate innovation to become a world-leader in genomic medicine and testing and evaluating new ideas and techniques.

David Bennett, the Chief Executive of Monitor, said:

The NHS needs to focus on delivering for today while also planning for tomorrow. Introducing the new models of care that we set out in the Five Year Forward View is fundamental for ensuring services are sustainable in the long-term.

Over the next year Monitor and our national partners will put the NHS planning process under closer scrutiny to ensure providers and commissioners work together to deliver the services local patients need.

Crucially, we will also build on our existing support arrangements to offer additional help to local health economies in significant difficulty, so that all the relevant local institutions in an area are able to address their current performance challenges together and create the conditions for future transformation.

Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

Today we are allocating extra cash for towns, cities and villages across England to help the local NHS meet the rising demands and changing needs of the patients we’re all here to serve.

Frontline nurses, doctors and other staff are working incredibly hard – including over this holiday period - but with a growing population and an aging population it’s clear the health service can’t just keep running to catch up. Instead we need to begin to radically reshape the way we care for patients, which is why there is such widespread support and enthusiasm for the NHS Five Year Forward View.

David Flory, the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:

NHS providers are under pressure and we know that will continue in 2015/16. The additional funding is welcome, both to relieve ongoing pressure on the system and to create the foundations for future transformation. In planning for next year, NHS trusts have an opportunity to work alongside local partners to plan for the challenges that they will face.

Duncan Selbie, the Chief Executive of Public Health England, said:

The NHS Five Year Forward View makes clear that Government, the health service, employers everywhere and people themselves have to get serious about tackling obesity, alcohol and tobacco if we are to help the NHS further cope with demand going forward.

We are wholly in support of this planning guidance which puts prevention at its heart along with new models of care and patient and public empowerment.

Ian Cumming, the Chief Executive of Health Education England, said:

Our recently published Workforce Plan for England makes clear that the new models of care outlined in the Five Year Forward View simply won’t become a reality without the people to deliver them.

We must ensure we deliver the right people in the right numbers with the skills, values and behaviours to meet the needs of patients both now and in the future.

David Behan, the Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said:

The Five Year Forward View sets out an exciting vision for the future. CQC has an impartial role to play to make sure service provide people with safe, high quality care.

Read the guidance.

Published 22 December 2014