Early announcements concerning the NHS Long Term Plan, previously billed as the “NHS Ten Year Plan”, indicate an even greater emphasis on the prevention agenda. This will involve, among other related schemes, the provision for problem drinkers and smokers who have been admitted to hospitals in England with help from dedicated services to quit or cut-down their consumption. In addition to reducing ill-health, it is anticipated that such interventions will reduce future levels of demand on the NHS.
“Alcohol Care Teams will be rolled out in hospitals with the highest number of alcohol-related admissions and will support patients and their families who have issues with alcohol misuse. This will be delivered in the 25% worst affected parts of the country and could prevent 50,000 admissions and almost 250,000 bed days over five years”.
The Long Term Plan’s commitment to offer help to quit for every smoker admitted to hospital was recommended earlier by the Royal College of Physicians’ Hiding in Plain Sight report.
Hospital patients who smoke or drink to be helped to quit. London: BBC Health News, January 5th 2019.
This relates to:
NHS Long Term Plan will help problem drinkers and smokers. [Online]: NHS England, January 5th 2019.
Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined the main components of the broad plan in her pre-announcement:
- Better mental health care, with 24-hour advice from NHS 111 by 2023, and tailored services for young adults with better transitions to adult mental health services.
- Provision of world-class maternity care, improving safety and with better mental health support for new parents.
- Greater control and choice in old age; expanding the use of personal budgets to allow people to decide which care they want. Better community-based support should prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
- Improved prevention and detection of disease. Improvements to early detection of cancer should help improve cancer survival rates.
- Increases in the NHS workforce – where one post in eleven remains vacant.
- The NHS embracing the digital age; with further progress to include online GP booking, prescriptions management and health records.
Triggle, N. (2019). NHS 10-year plan: May hails historic announcement. London: BBC Health News, January 5th 2019.
See also, the RCP report mentioned above, for background interest:
Hiding in plain sight: treating tobacco dependency in the NHS. London: Royal College of Physicians (RCP), June 26th 2018.
Further musings on related background issues, some of which may be beyond everyone’s control or imagination:
Triggle, N. (2018). Six things to look out for in health in 2019. London: BBC Health News, December 31st 2018.