The NHS long-term plan is a welcome start, but significant challenges remain

7th January 2019 about a 1 minute read
The publication of the NHS long-term plan is a welcome start, but there remain a number of significant challenges. There are questions about how the ambitions set out in the ten-year plan will complement the options expected to be in the forthcoming adult social care Green Paper. And, if the ten-year plan is going to be achievable, it needs to be backed by a robust workforce strategy – there still remains uncertainty about how the NHS will address staff shortages. It is good to see a focus on research and innovation which is sorely needed if the NHS is to deliver better patient outcomes. One way this can be achieved is through better harnessing the value of NHS data for public benefit. We need to establish a sovereign health fund to provide the NHS with an additional source of funding to help deliver sustainable long-term provision founded upon revenues from data-driven innovations the NHS enables over the years to come. The ten-year plan attempts to steer the NHS away from the cliff-edge and back to a more sustainable footing but it has been published against the backdrop of a challenging political climate. If politicians are serious about delivering a new settlement for health and care provision, they need to embrace a cross-party approach or we will never escape the constant need for strategy development at the cost of meaningful long-term improvements in patient outcomes. Greg Allen, Chief Executive, Future Care Capital