NHS launches 'effective' plan to tackle alcohol abuse

Henrietta Strickland
January 8, 2019

Such pledges will no doubt sound familiar, both in the short and longer term, as they have been rolled out ad nauseam over the years, numerous schemes meeting little success - examples include the scrapped £11bn National Programme for IT and the botched Care.Data programme. It outlines how Lansley's shake-up has damaged the NHS, which May has previously acknowledged.

The NHS added that it will become the first health service in the world to offer whole genome sequencing for children with cancer and young people who have a rare genetic disorder, in addition to adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers.

The aim is to cut the £3.7 billion a year that alcohol abuse reportedly costs the NHS each year, by preventing 50,000 booze-related hospital admissions and save 250,000 "bed days" over the next five years.

The sophistication of commodity technology services, the plethora of advances in health technology, the track-record of reliable delivery which we have quietly laid down over recent years, and the passion and commitment of this Secretary of State to transforming these capabilities combine to make this a time of enormous opportunity and potential. Most were private firms, the rest were charities and social enterprises. They are also concerned that video consultations would undermine doctor-patient relationships. Optical practices in some parts of England are already delivering enhanced eye healthcare services in convenient, community-based locations. "They have failed to recruit and train the staff desperately needed, leaving our NHS struggling with chronic shortages of over 100,000 staff".

He said: "The plan looks set to promise a host of improvements, including in areas such as maternity care, children's services, cancer care, mental health and heart disease".

He added: 'The BMA supports increased investment in general practice and community care.

NHS will work to reduce the prescribing of low clinical value medicines and items which are readily available over the counter to save over £200 million a year. A broad spectrum of digital services will support individuals to take a much more proactive and responsible approach to monitoring their own health and well-being, enabling them to recognise their individual health risks and symptoms as early as possible, and manage their personal response to these risks. That test would let CCGs decide who should be awarded the contract, without fearing that they may be sued by a private firm which had seen its tender rejected. But the plan cannot escape the harsh reality that the NHS will still face tough decisions on what it can and cannot do.

Emma Thomas, chief executive of YoungMinds, said the investment is vital and long overdue: "Right now, more than a million young people have a diagnosable mental health problem, and the vast majority aren't able to access mental health support from the NHS".

Stevens has previously sought to reassure ministers that revisiting the 2012 act should not necessitate a further shake-up of how the NHS is organised and that well-judged changes would suffice.

It is part of the aim to make digital services a mainstream part of the health service. "What people are interested in are carefully targeted adjustments to the framework", he told the parliamentary magazine the House past year.

Moreover, the NHS needs to tackle the systemic non-digital problems that cause knock-on problems elsewhere - and the organisation has, historically, fallen short of the mark when implementing ambitious plans. "The Tories must apologise for wasting billions of taxpayers' money on the privatisation, constant tendering of contracts, top down reorganisation and demoralisation of staff this Tory act ushered in".

And the British Medical Association council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said: "We need to see practical solutions to these immediate and very serious issues as well as the grand long-term ambitions".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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