A MAJOR transformation of the NHS over the next decade which includes a £20billion Government cash injection has been welcomed by Malvern’s MP Harriett Baldwin.
Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled the decade-long vision for the health service which includes the cash boost over the course of five years to help modernise the NHS.
Millions of patients will use Skype for hospital appointments in a ‘wholesale transformation of the NHS’ intended to reduce face-to-face consultations by a third and save billions of pounds.
Health chiefs estimate 30million hospital visits a year will be avoided by use of Skype calls, smartphones and other ways to talk to a doctor.
The plan has been developed with a focus on preventing illness and detecting serious conditions earlier – improving survival rates for illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
The clinician-led plan will help more people to stay healthy and work towards treating more people outside of hospital.
The plan also provides for better access to mental health services with specialist teams working with schools and colleges to improve support for children and young people.
“Our cherished NHS does an amazing job but with us all living longer it is important that we look at ways to help people stay more healthy,” Mrs Baldwin said.
“I know our local health experts have already developed strategies to try to treat people either at home or closer to home as well as making better use of our GP surgeries and community hospitals.”
“The extra investment in mental healthcare will be warmly welcomed and early intervention to spot all sorts of illness, before they become serious, will be of great benefit for people across Worcestershire,” she added.
More money to make maternity services the safest in the world — reducing stillbirths and deaths during labour by half – has also been earmarked by the plan.
Gill Walton, chief executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It is very encouraging to see maternity front and centre of this plan.
“There is much in the plan to welcome such as the commitment to reduce health inequalities, the renewed commitment to the Maternity Transformation Plan and the pledge of a job guarantee for midwives after they qualify.
“However there is right now a gap between the ambitions for our maternity services and the reality on the ground.
“This plan adds yet more aspirations but we need to know how the Government will bridge this gap and give us the services they have promised.”