Editorials

NHS England’s five year plan

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g6484 (Published 30 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6484
  1. Gareth Iacobucci, news reporter
  1. 1The BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. giacobucci{at}bmj.com

Full realisation of the vision will cost an extra £8bn

The NHS is on a financial precipice, with healthcare leaders forecasting that current funding shortages, combined with the needs of an ageing population, will lead to a deficit of £30bn (€38bn; $48bn) by 2020-21. Faced with this stark reality, the leaders of the NHS in England have launched an ambitious five year plan to tackle this looming shortfall by radically altering how care is delivered.

The Five Year Forward View,1 produced by NHS England in partnership with five other national bodies, sets out a vision for creating a more sustainable and integrated service. The proposals are wide ranging, but the broad focus is on three areas: managing demand, improving efficiency, and additional funding. Recommendations include a substantial expansion in prevention and public health, alongside patients being given more control of their own care.

It also calls for the removal of traditional boundaries between primary and secondary care and sets out a range of new models of care that local areas could adopt.2 The plan is not overly prescriptive as to what these new models should be, saying that neither a “one size fits all” approach nor “a thousand flowers bloom” scenario would be suitable. …

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