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The NHS Long Term Plan: 10 key public health points

Male doctor and older man sitting on a sofa and smiling during home visit

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) aims to relieve pressure on services and ensure sustainability for future years. There are a multitude of aims and initiatives within the 136 page document; this blog gives a brief overview of the key public health priorities.

Prevention

Each element of the LTP has prevention at its heart, emphasising an effort to move away from a system that simply treats, into one that also helps to keep people well for longer. The LTP recognises good health is about more than healthcare alone, and that to be implemented effectively the NHS must work in partnership with local government. We welcome this understanding and look forward to working with the public health family, NHS England and NHS Improvement to deliver the LTP.

Smoking

the Ottawa Model for smoking cessation will be embedded in all Trusts by 2023 to 2024, meaning every person admitted to hospital who smokes will be offered support to quit
a new smoke-free pregnancy pathway will be deployed, adapting the Ottawa Model for expectant mothers and their partners, so the entire family can be treated together
a new universal smoking cessation offer will be made available as part of specialist mental health services. This will include the option to switch to e-cigarettes while in inpatient settings

Obesity and type 2 diabetes

the Diabetes Prevention Programme will be doubled over the next five years and will include a new digital option to widen patient choice
by 2022/23, NHS England expect to treat a further 1,000 children a year for severe complications related to their obesity. It is hoped this will prevent children needing more invasive treatment at a later stage
access to weight management services in primary care will be targeted to people with type 2 diabetes or hypertension with a BMI of more than 30

Diet and alcohol

in early 2019, the Government will consult on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid to prevent foetal abnormalities
by Easter 2019 the Government will set out the details of how the salt reduction programme’s targets will be met
hospitals with the highest rate of alcohol dependence-related admissions will establish Alcohol Care Teams, which could prevent 50,000 admissions over five years

Antimicrobial resistance and vaccines

continue to optimise use and reduce the need for antibiotics, as well as supporting the development of new antimicrobials
ensure access to old and new treatments, preventative measures (including vaccines) and appropriate tools (including diagnostics and electronic prescribing)
prioritise improvements in childhood immunisation, reaching at least the base level standards in the NHS public health function agreement

Cancer

by 2028, the proportion of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 will increase from around half to three-quarters
by 2020 the HPV primary screening for cervical cancer will be implemented across England
personalised and risk stratified screening will be utilised to test the family members of cancer patients where they may be at an increased risk of cancer

Mental health

by 2023 to 2024, an additional 110,000 people living with severe mental health problems will receive physical health checks each year, bringing the total to 390,000 annual checks
a specific health check for people with autism will be piloted and if successful, will be extended widely

Air pollution

business mileages and fleet air pollutant emissions will be reduced by 20% by 2023 to 2024
at least 90% of the NHS fleet will use low-emissions engines by 2028, and primary heating from coal and oil fuel in NHS sites will be fully phased out
care provision will be designed for a greater use of ‘virtual’ appointments so to reduce the need for patient and staff travel

Children and maternity care

by 2023 to 2024, an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access support via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams
accelerated action to achieve 50% reductions in stillbirth, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality and serious brain injury by 2025
by 2024, 75% of women from BAME communities and a similar percentage of women from the most deprived groups will receive continuity of care from their midwife throughout pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period

Gambling

NHS specialist clinics will be expanded to help more people with serious gambling problems. Therefore helping more people than can currently access support through one national clinic

Read more: publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk

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