“Mr Cameron has set out his commitment to invest in the NHS until 2020. This includes a welcome announcement on protecting NHS funding in real terms for 5 years. We recognise that this requires some early choices on investment elsewhere. We will need to wait for the whole picture to emerge to get a sense of whether this will be a sufficient step towards sustaining the NHS in the future. We need to see, for example, how social care fits into what is a critical period for the service.
“We will also need to be clear on the level of funding and the priorities for reform as we cannot work on the basis of more of the same. The 2015 Challenge Manifesto: A Time for Action asks politicians and national bodies to help make changes to address 7 challenges facing health and care. This is not simply about the money – we need political backing for new models of care too.
“A broad coalition of NHS, Local Government and patient groups has asked for long term settlements for health and care, for a £2bn transition fund to support changes for at least two years and a serious debate with the public about how the NHS works in the light of their spending decisions. This announcement covers part of this ground, showing politicians are beginning to heed what the service and patients are asking. We will continue to work to ensure that the unanswered questions are also clear as we set out to secure an NHS fit for the 21st century.”
David Morgan, a consultant surgeon and founder of Safe Patient Systems, the UK’s number one provider of telehealth technology to the NHS, said:
“Most healthcare resources are consumed by patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. There’s over 15 million of them in England alone, accounting for more than 50% of all GP appointments, and this is set to grow. It’s not just about increasing the number of available GP hours, but also about enabling self-management so that GP time is deployed where it’s most needed. Smart use of mobile technology is critical, allowing GPs to monitor their patients at home and intervene proactively when needed. For example, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group was able to reduce phone contact with GP practices by 60 to 100% and face-to-face contact by 68% while at the same time gaining positive patient feedback.”