A framework for the implementation of NHS Long Term Plan has been published by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
It tells local health systems what they need to do and when to implement the plan’s commitments and what national support is available.
All local health systems now:
- need to describe how they will deliver the ‘foundational commitments’ of the long term plan, including the transformation of primary and community services and a nationwide rollout of first contact practitioners (FCP).
- have to choose - this summer - whether they want to opt into other initiatives for which targeted funding will be made for early adopters, with money for nation-wide implementation at a later date. This includes postnatal physiotherapy and multidisciplinary pelvic health services; post-hospital stroke rehabilitation; and pulmonary rehabilitation and breathlessness services.
The CSP says the new documents will encourage services to put themselves forward for the targeted funding.
The society has previously spelt out what members can do to influence their local implementation plans.
The CSP will seek to be involved in how national support around community service transformation will be developed, for example by the Aging Well programme.
The framework reiterates key features of local plans, which should:
- be clinically led: with systems identifying and supporting senior clinicians to lead on the development of implementation proposals for all Long Term Plan commitments that have clinical implications and for their plan overall
- be locally owned: closely involving local government and the voluntary sector as plans develop, and giving local communities (including those often most marginalised) a chance to inform their thinking
- include realistic workforce planning: with realistic workforce assumptions, matched to activity and financial constraints, in line with the Interim NHS People Plan
- be financially balanced: with systems showing how they will deliver commitments within resources available, including plans to moderate demand and to support the financial recovery of individual organisations
- deliver all Long Term Plan commitments and national access standards: including how they will continue to maintain and improve performance for cancer treatment, A&E, and reducing wait times for elective care
- be phased based on local need: while the framework includes some national foundational requirements, it emphasises that not all Long Term Plan commitments should be implemented at the same time everywhere
- consider how to reduce local health inequalities and unwarranted variation: also showing how systems will make use of allocated funding to tackle these, and to deliver tangible improvements in health outcomes and patient experience.
Local systems will prepare draft versions of their five-year plans by mid-September, with final versions submitted by November. These plans will later be published as part of a national implementation plan setting out key milestones and performance trajectories.
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