The recently published NHS Long-Term Plan which focuses on the ongoing sustainability of the NHS has shown that a key focus for sustainability is by upgrading community care. The ten-year-plan commits £4.5 billion a year that will be spent on primary and community care. It is hoped that this funding will help to provide community care for over 370,000 with mental illnesses by 2023.
To help with the Long-Term Plan, the NHS looks for support by organisations in the NHS Partners and NHS Confederation, such as The Community Network. The Community Network, chaired by Matthew Winn, have received the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan positively.
Matthew Winn has spoken of the positivity surrounding the fact that community services will play a central role in the NHS. He said that this is something that the Community Network has argued for. He says; “A shift in focus towards prevention and community care will help ensure people can live healthier, longer lives, and receive care in or close to their homes, reducing admissions and demand on already over-stretched hospitals.”
Support for frontline workers
With regards to the additional £4.5 billion per year funding, Matthew Winn says the money will be a huge welcome. However, adds with the caution that the money must reach the frontline workers to ensure workforce challenges are addressed for the success of community services.
With the funding and the focus, it is hoped that community services can deliver significant changes to the health and welfare of people. It can change the way people receive support from their community, especially vulnerable and frail patients.
The role of The Community Network and other NHS Partners is to take the NHS Long-Term Plan and the funding and turn it into deliverable action so that the plan can achieve its ambition.