Press release

PM: Launch of the NHS Long Term Plan marks an historic step to secure its future

From getting the best start in life, to supporting you into old age, the NHS Long Term Plan will be hailed by the Prime Minister as a historic moment for patients across the nation.

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The plan being launched tomorrow by NHS England, thanks to the government’s investment of £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023/24, will transform patient care and make sure every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.

Now in its 70th year, the NHS has unprecedented certainty to plan for the next decade, ensuring that patients will be supported with world-class care at every stage of their life.

From birth, through the challenges that life brings and into old age, the plan will ensure that the NHS is:

  • Providing the best maternity care in the world – We will ensure every baby gets the best start in life by continuing to improve maternity safety, and providing greater mental health support to new parents.
  • Supporting ageing and increasing independence – We will support people to age well by bringing different health and care teams together to make sure older people are getting the support they need to remain independent, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. We will make sure people have more say and control over the healthcare and support they are receiving, including by expanding the use of personal health budgets.
  • Improving outcomes for all major conditions – Through better prevention, detection, treatment and recovery from serious diseases, we will improve health outcomes so people live longer and healthier. For mental health services, greater support will be provided to almost 350,000 more children and young people, and at least an extra 380,000 adults over the next five years.
  • Increasing the NHS workforce – We are improving access to mental health, primary care and community services, with tens of thousands more doctors, nurses and other health professionals – a full workforce plan is expected later this year.
  • Bringing the NHS into digital age – We are rolling out new digital technologies to deliver improved access to NHS services. This will mean everyone in the country will have digital access to their GP, including being able to make appointments, manage prescriptions and view their health records online.
  • Cutting waste across the NHS – We will continue to make sure we are using taxpayers’ money efficiently, including through introducing new digital techniques and making back office savings of more than £700 million across the NHS.

With NHS spending in England increasing, extra money will also go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Barnett formula, which ensures every part of the UK gets a fair share of public spending. The devolved administrations will be able to use this money to improve their own services and develop their own long-term plans.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

The NHS has always been the country’s most beloved public service – there to provide outstanding care to us all whenever it is needed.

The launch of the NHS Long Term Plan marks an historic step to secure its future and offers a vision for the service for the next ten years, with a focus on ensuring that every pound is spent in a way that will most benefit patients. This will help relieve pressure on the NHS while providing the basis to transform care with world-class treatments.

Backed by our record investment of £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023/24, this shows what we can achieve with a strong economy and a focus on people’s priorities.

Published 6 January 2019