Wednesday marked the 75th Anniversary of the NHS. There have been vast changes in both medical treatments and our population since the NHS was established. Thanks to the huge strides made in medicine people are, happily, living longer, surviving diagnoses that were previously a death sentence and living quality lives even whilst managing on occasions multiple health conditions long into old age.
Our NHS is providing treatments and support to patients that would have simply been unimaginable 75 years ago.
It is a record to be proud of but in the NHS’s anniversary year we must also look to the future.
I was pleased on Tuesday to hear, alongside other Sussex MPs, from the Sussex NHS Integrated Care Board who have developed their Shared Delivery Plan. This is the first time in over twenty years that Sussex has a plan in place with agreement from healthcare providers and Local Authorities.
The plan sets out how locally health outcomes and access will be improved over the next five years. It is an exciting plan; putting prevention at the heart of healthcare in Sussex.
The plan also sets out how healthcare will be delivered within the community. I made the case for more provision at Horsham Hospital to cut down journey times for patients. I also raised the difficulty residents are facing locally finding an NHS dentist. I know the ICB are doing their utmost to address this issue and I will be having a further update from them soon.
I am pleased that within Sussex 3 million more GP appointments are being provided compared to pre-pandemic levels. The plan sets out how this can be built upon and practices can be supported in looking after their patients.
A key part of the plan is the workforce. As many readers will have seen, last week the Prime Minister announced the long term plan for the NHS workforce which will aim to recruit 300,000 more NHS staff in England over 15 years.
The PM’s workforce plan alongside the work of the ICB will ensure the NHS remains fit for the future even us demand continues to grow.