Friday, 19 July, 2019

NHS looks to digital and genomics to secure its future

Hancock Matt Hancock is keen to see more emphasis on personal responsibility for health Credit PA
Delores Daniels | 08 January, 2019, 03:24

'We have faced year on year cuts.

More recently, health secretary and, er, app minister Matt Hancock has been trotting out his "tech vision" for the NHS at every opportunity, while the PM has hitched various announcements to the AI bandwagon. But one constant has been that core principle set out by the national government - that the NHS should be available to all, free at the point of use, according to need, not ability to pay.

"There are about 307 million patient consultations at GP surgeries each year", the document said. We must avoid an undeliverable wish list that makes too many promises as over-promising sets the NHS up to fail.

The NHS Long Term Plan, which covers the next decade, will outline precisely how the health service will spend the extra funding promised by the prime minister in June a year ago.

This will help address today's challenges.

Despite record demand, performance was better this December than last.

"We welcome the new commitments on prevention and mental health in the NHS long-term plan".

More support for people with long term conditions through mobile monitoring devices and the interoperability of data.

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GPs, mental health and community care are expected to receive the biggest funding increases, as plans look to decrease the reliance on hospitals (which now use around half of the £114bn frontline budget).

That means patients will have improved access to their Global Positioning System and greater flexibility about how they contact them.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: "The public hates waste in the NHS and quite rightly want to know that their taxes are spent effectively, to deliver excellent front-line services to patients".

Cover community services for those experiencing mental health problems.

Mr Speaker, ultimately staff are the heart of the NHS - the people who work in the NHS. 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. We're also constrained by severe workforce shortages.

This is imperative for effective future planning given the ageing population and the fact that doctors are treating patients with more complex needs, though we await further detail on how this will be delivered'. "While there are initiatives in the plan to build the workforce, they need to be matched with action from central government to secure training budgets and a supportive migration policy to allow global recruitment that is vital to staffing the NHS".

In a pre-briefing for the plan, NHS England also said it wanted to use cutting edge scans and technology, including the potential use of artificial intelligence, to help provide the best stroke care in Europe.

The plan will mean our growing elderly population will be supported to stay healthy and independent for longer and better support for carers.

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Provide comprehensive mental health support across major A&E departments across the NHS.

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 NHS will tackle unacceptable health inequalities by targeting support towards the most vulnerable in areas of high deprivation.

"If we are to tackle the current crisis facing our mental health, ‎this increased investment in services needs to be matched by a commitment to the prevention of mental health problems".

GP and community care will receive £4.5bn extra of the £20.5bn boost, while mental health services will receive £2.3bn extra.

And we will expand services for young people to include people up to the age of 25.

Cancer charities gave the plans a cautious welcome.

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